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I. and II. Col. Franklin A. Denison and Lt. Col. Otis B. Duncan, 

the highest ranking colored officers in France. III. Col. Charles Young, 

the highest ranking colored officer in the United States Army. IV. 

Major Rufus M. Stokes. V. Major Joseph H. Ward. 

Two Colored Women 
With the American 
Expeditionary Forces 








Dedicated to the women of OUT 
race, who gave so trustingly and 
courageously the strongest of 
their young manhood to suffer 
and to die for the cause of 

With recognition and thanks to the authors quoted in 
this volume and to the men of the A. E. F. who have 
contributed so willingly and largely to the story herein 


















t By Addie W. Hunton. 
* By Kathryn M. Johnson. 


T3EMARKABLE achievements are worthy of remarka- 
AX ble acclaim. This justifies our desire to add still 
another expression to those already written relative to 
the career of the colored American soldiers in the late 
World War. The heroic devotion and sacrifice of that 
career have won appreciative expressions from those 
who, from a personal point of view, know but little of 
the details. How much more then should they who 
walked side by side with those brave men in France 
realize the merit of their service and chant their praises. 
Surely they should be best able to interpret sincerely 
and sympathetically, lovingly and gratefully for our sol- 
diers, as they may not for themselves, something of the 
vicissitudes through which they passed as members of 
the American Expeditionary Forces. 

We feel, too, that almost fifteen months of continuous 
service that carried us practically over all parts of 
France, and afforded a heart to heart touch with thou- 
sands of men, is a guarantee of the knowledge and de- 
votion that has inspired this volume. 

Memories will ever crowd the mind and cause the eye 
to kindle with the light of loving sympathy as we recall 
our months of service at the base of supplies on the 
coast of France. For there we were privileged to learn 
something of the life and spirit of the stevedores, labor 
battalions and engineers- more than 25,000 of them 
who, through all the desolate days of war, never ceased 
in their efforts to connect America with Chateau Thierry, 
Verdun, Sedan, St. Mihiel and other great battle centers 
of France. There we beheld combat troops, filled with 
the spirit of adventure arriving fresh from America to 
follow the trail to the already warworn front. And 
there came also those regiments that we called Pioneer 
Infantries, the imprints of whose deeds of duty and dar- 
ing are stamped all over France. 

We followed our depot companies and engineers 
through those isolated stretches and wastes where they 
performed tasks so essential in the plans for victory. 

After many months we went away from the confusion 
of war to beautiful southern France. There we worked 
to make happy the days of the men who came for rest 
and recreation to that wonderful Alpine region of Savoie. 
There in the Leave Area, by the side of shimmering Lake 
Bourget, we learned something more of the life of our 
soldiers as they fought or worked on French soil. Every 
week, for five months or more, a thousand or so men 
poured into Chambery and Challes-les-Eaux, and we 
saw in them the gladness or depression of their service. 

Far to the North we took our way, over devastated 
areas, and dwelt midst the loneliness of poppy-covered 
fields in "No Man's Land." In those Cities of die Dead, 
we beheld our soldiers summoned to the supreme test of 
their loyalty and patience in the re-burying of the fallen 
American heroes. 

Back again to the coast we went to join in the great 
"Battle of Brest" the battle for the morale of the tired, 
anxious soldier waiting for transportation back to home 
and native friendships. For six weeks, from early morn- 
ing to midnight, our huts at Pontanezen echoed to the 
tread of thousands of feet. During that period it is esti- 
mated that fifty thousand colored soldiers passed through 
the camp. Battle scenes and war adventures were ended, 
but the memory was yet deeply poignant, and often 
silences revealed the depths of experiences beyond the 
power of all words. Because of all this, we strive to 
numbly recount the heart throbs of our heroes. 

Again the authors have written because to them it was 
given to represent in France the womanhood of our race 
in America those fine mothers, wives, sisters and friends 
who so courageously gave the very flower of their young 
manhood to face the ravages of war. That we then 
should make an effort to interpret with womanly com- 
prehension the loyalty and bravery of their men seems 
not only a slight recompense for all they have given, but 
an imperative duty. 

We believe that undervaluation is a more subtle and 
unkind foe than overvaluation, so that we have not re- 
frained in our story from a large measure of praise for 
a large measure of loyal and patriotic service, performed 
ofttimes under the most trying conditions. 

We have had no desire to attain to an authentic history, 
but have rather aimed to record our impressions and 
facts in a simple way. But wherever historical facts 
have been used, it has been largely to justify the measure 
of praise accorded and to offset the criticisms of preju- 
diced minds. 

This volume is written at a time when, after the shock 
of terrific warfare, the world has not yet found its balance 
when, in the midst of confusion, justice and truth call 
loudly for the democracy for which we have paid. 
/ If for all time the world is to be free from the murder- 
ous scourge called war, it must make universal and 
eternal the practical application of the time-worn theory 
of the brotherhood of man. May this volume written in 
all love and truth, though perhaps imperfectly, serve to 
lift some souls nearer to this ideal. 


The hour is big with sooth and sign, with errant men 
at war. 

While blood of alien, friend and foe, imbues the land afar, 

And we with sable faces pent, move with the vanguard 

Shod with a faith that springtime keeps and all the stars 


The Call and the Answer 

THE great thrilling, throbbing spirit of war 
did not reach the United States until that 
memorable spring of 1918. Then it came in a 
mighty tidal wave of vitalized force and energy. 
Our country, woefully late, was at last awakened 
to terrific speed. Great human cargoes and 
innumerable tons of supplies held transports and 
ships to their guards. Cities, towns and villages 
were suddenly transformed into great inspirational 
centers of war activity. Meanwhile we were watch- 
ing the map of France, noting with deep anxiety 
the stubborn resistance of the war-weary French to 
the slow but certain advance of the enemy. Once 
again it moved with pitiless and determined face 
toward Paris the heart stream of all France. 
Although General Joffre had once checked the 
German raiders and sent them to confusion and 
death, their lesson was not yet learned and they 
were again throwing human force against the prin- 
ciples of right. But now that so many of the 
heroes of France had fallen, how would the foe 
be met? Surely there was urgent need of a strong 
army to stand at the Marne once again. 

The American Forces already in France were 
calling not only for help, but haste. Suddenly, 
we found ourselves included in this call with pass- 
port in hand. Not all at once did its full signifi- 
cance come to us, but in those waiting days, as we 
sat at our desk and tried to concentrate on 


war-work at home, quite unconsciously, we would 
find the passport in our hands and our eyes search- 
ing the war map on the wall. Slowly we began to 
realize that we were to make an effort to reach 
"over there" where thousands of our own men had 
gone and other thousands must go. 

Then one dark afternoon, as the rain came down 
in torrents, the buzz of the telephone at our elbow 
told us our time had come. We asked no questions, 
for those were days of deep secrecy, but looked for 
the last time at the war map in the office studied 
it as never before, wondering where in that war- 
wrecked country across the Atlantic we would find 
our place of service. We breathed a little prayer, 
said good-bye to our fellow workers, knowing 
that tomorrow we would be on the ocean eastward 
bound and went out to meet her who was to try 
the unknown with us and who would prove the 
faithful companion of all our "overseas" life. 
There was no sleep that night for us; friends came 
and went, and two ever faithful ones lingered lov- 
ingly for the last possible service. 

Of necessity, in those days, there were strict laws 
and many sentries at the docks, so that when 
we entered there was little hope of rejoining our 
loved ones for a second adieu. We took the pre- 
caution, however, to beg them to wait for a final 
sign of parting and while going through the 
ordeal of having baggage examined and passed, 
learned that our sailing time had been delayed four 
hours. We determined upon an effort to rejoin 
those waiting so patiently outside the dock. Making 



a wide detour, we passed quietly by the sentry who 
was striding to and fro with gun on his shoulder. 
Now whether he could not quite grasp the fact that 
colored women were really going to join the 
American Expeditionary Forces, or had seen the 
close clinging hug given one of the women by the 
little lad and lassie near him or whether the 
twinkle in our eye did it, we do not know but 
we passed, and in that very act much of the sad- 
ness of our parting was removed. We rode across 
Fourteenth Street, a jolly party, had our lunch 
and returned to the dock, where from an upper 
pier with smiles and tears all mingled, we waved 
a final adieu. 

How wonderful is love at such a time! There 
they stood lovingly and lingeringly the cousin of 
one of us who had come all the way from the 
Middle West for this leave-taking; two brave 
children with the dear little woman whose true and 
tried devotion made us know that she would mother 
them as her own till we came back to take her 
place; and that other friend with whom we had 
crossed in peaceful days, joyously roaming over 
England and the Continent. That last picture 
remained with us, to cheer us for all the months of 
our absence. 

And now there was no turning back. Months 
ago the war zone was just six hundred miles from 
the coast of France but now the United States was 
at war, and as we stepped on the gang plank, war- 
zone passes were surrendered. We were crusaders 



on a quest for Democracy! How and where would 
that precious thing be found? 

What a spectacle was that sun-lit bit of New York 
harbor that June afternoon! All about us were 
transports filled with khaki-clad men, crowding 
port holes, every bit of deck and perched on every 
beam. These thousands of youths of fearless and 
deathless spirit, would quickly follow us over there, 
and many of them, in war's thunderous tumult, 
quickly pay the supreme sacrifice. How they 
whistled, sang and cheered as our little French 
liner, Espagne, steamed slowly away from them 
to brave alone the sea peril of that time! 

First to the south and then to the east we sailed 
over seas of glass, with never a storm or gale, but 
tremendous speed. They were cheerful days, 
although they were ever-watchful ones, with life- 
belts close at hand. No lights showed on deck at 
night nor on the whole horizon. Yes, just once! 
By the big blazing cross at the foremast, we saw 
the form of a hospital ship, bringing its toll of 
human wreckage to the waiting hands and hearts of 
its native heath. 

For all the trip there was no anxious face or 
word that revealed the danger that so constantly 
lurked near us. Even the frequent summons for 
life-boat drills were answered with mirthful banter. 
An unfailing, kindly courtesy, and, in many cases, 
real comradeship marked the fellow-workers with 
whom we crossed. Perhaps it was due to the quiet 
but wonderful personality of the leader of this 
group. Mr. William Sloane, Chairman of the 



War Council of the Young Men's Christian Associa- 
tion. The four hundred Polish recruits entertained 
us with song, verse and dance; while usually we had 
music and movies in the salon. Our Sunday after- 
noon at sea, we sat in the dining salon with the sun's 
rays stealing through the closed portholes and fall- 
ing upon us in long, flickering, gold lines. Dr. 
Henry S. Coffin talked to us in his forceful way of 
heroes of old. Some one sang "Speed Away," and 
then there was a triumphal outburst of "Eternal 
Father Strong to Save!" The morning of the ninth 
day we entered the Gironde River and steamed 
slowly between vine-clad heights, overtopped by 
stately chateaux; between flowering meadows, with 
picturesque villas, up to Bordeaux. It was thus 
we "Answered the Call." 


That for which millions prayed and sighed, 
That for which ten thousands fought, 

For which so many freely died, 
God cannot let it come to naught. 



First Days in France 

THERE are many American boys now who are 
quite familiar with the Louvre, Boulevards, 
Notre Dame and Napoleon's Tomb at Paris but 
who know absolutely nothing of the Metropolitan 
Museum, Fifth Avenue and its Cathedral, or Grant's 
Tomb. The many ports of France were particu- 
larly the home of the colored soldiers, so that 
landing at Bordeaux it did not seem strange to be 
greeted first of all by our own men. But it did 
seem passing strange that we should see them 
guarding German prisoners! Somehow we felt that 
colored soldiers found it rather refreshing even 
enjoyable for a change having come from a 
country where it seemed everybody's business to 
guard them. 

Bordeaux was singularly the home of colored 
soldiers. They were in the camps there by the 
thousands. In fact, as we landed at Bordeaux, 
it seemed every man's home. So crowded and 
varied was its population, one could almost believe 
that during the nine days of silence on the ocean, 
Paris had been passed by the enemy. There were 
many Colonial troops, Chinese laborers and, more 
or less maimed French soldiers. The French gov- 
ernment had been removed to that city in which the 
blending of the finest in old and new architecture 
made it a charming substitute for Paris. Sitting in 
the park that evening, looking out upon the teeming 
life about us, with crowds of black-robed women 

2 15 


and helpless soldiers' filling in the picture, there 
came to us. our first definite realization of the cost 
of war. 

Our first dinner in France, with butter and real 
ice cream, was an unfortunate delusion, for it in 
no way prepared us for all the lean days to follow. 
Especially not for the war-breakfast the next morn- 
ing a thick piece of dark bread, a hard-boiled 
egg and a cup of black coffee all thrown at us 
in unsweetened confusion; for while we waited for 
sugar, we were informed that for the future we 
must use a liquid substitute supplied us in bottles. 

But Paris was our destination, and we rode all 
day over that part of France so full of historical 
memories past Tours with its Cathedral of Royal 
Staircase and Towers; past Blois with its chateau 
of historical pre-eminence; past Orleans, over 
which the spirit of Jeanne d'Arc eternally hovers 
on to Paris. 

Rue d'Aguesseau! Who does not know it now! 
That short, narrow street made famous by the 
Young Men's Christian Association. For there 
were the Headquarters of that organization for all 
its vast service to the American Expeditionary 
Forces. It was to 12 Rue d'Aguesseau that the 
precious letters from home were sent. There, in 
the crowded foyer, they were read and often 
answered. There friends were met and conferences 
held. How can any Y secretary who went 
through it all ever forget the intricate processes of 
"Movement Orders" and "Transportation" that 
somehow carried one all over the building and 


1. The Park at Bordeaux. 2. The Foyer at the Y. M. C. A. Head- 
quarters, Paris. 


included several excursions from the first to the 
fifth floor, with the perverse little elevator generally 
out of order! Really it was far better named 
ascenseur, for when on rare occasions it did re- 
spond to the push of the button and take one up, 
there was always the warning sign not to descend 
in it. 

It was always necessary to report to the Paris 
Headquarters in changing one's base of service. 
Hence, we have several distinct pictures of the city 
as we saw it at different intervals during our fifteen 
months in France. We remember Paris at Chris- 
mas time, 1918, when President Wilson had but 
recently arrived there; when the forces that had 
for so long fought against cold and darkness were 
triumphant at last. Warmth and light flooded the 
very soul of the city. The American was the 
dominating figure, but the French were riotously 
happy, for peace had come a Victorious Peace! 
We remember, too, the Paris of the late summer 
of 1919, when after her great victory parade in 
which all the victors participated except our own 
colored soldiers she began to realize her real 
condition. The foreigners had mostly gone and the 
lights were less brilliant than in winter. It was a 
quiet but wise Paris, bravely facing her tremendous 
work of reconstruction. But the saddest picture 
was our first. It was the summer of 1918, Paris 
was again in the war zone. We entered a city of 
darkness and our taxicab literally felt its way to 
the hotel. Here and there dim green lights, heavily 
hooded, peeped out at us, and we learned that 



they were simply guides to caves for those unhappy 
wayfarers caught beneath the enemy's shell. On 
that June night, the great Gare d'Orsay was a 
seething mass of aristocracy, peasantry and sol- 
diers. The same was true of all other railroad 
stations, for soldiers were forcing their way to the 
front and refugees their way to the rear. But all 
life seemed concentrated in those terminals; over 
the city itself there was deep silence. Even the 
days were heavy with dark forebodings. The 
French went quietly to their business by day and 
to their cellars by night, as the Germans menaced 
and shattered with shell and bomb. The day of 
the British and Belgian soldiers in Paris had almost 
passed that of the American scarce begun. The 
many French soldiers one saw there were, for the 
most part, heartbreaking in their poor torn bodies. 
We had just seen the children at Bordeaux who 
used to play among the flowers and marble statues 
of the parks and look from the windows now close- 
shuttered. We looked in vain in the Louvre, Notre 
Dame and other repositories for their priceless 
treasures, but they were hidden, and ugly sandbags 
hugged the architecture against the ruthless attacks 
of the foe. True, the shop-keeper tried to extol 
and press her wares upon us as of old, but, with the 
above picture before us, bread tickets in our hands 
and meatless days, we felt most keenly that it was 
not the Paris in which, just ten years before, we had 
lived so joyously for many weeks. It was a bleed- 
ing, war-harassed city with its deadly foe pressing 
upon it. But faith at Paris was not wholly dead; 



the spirit of Jeanne d'Arc still lived and Saint 
Genevieve still kept faithful vigil through the long 
dark hours of waiting. To such a Paris we went, 
and somehow seemed a part of it. The warning 
of the siren, air-battles by night and "Big Bertha" 
bombs by day were accepted as a part of grim war. 
Meanwhile we prepared for work in the camp. 

Those last days in America and first days in 
France brought us into close touch with the fine 
spirits who guided the women's work for the War 
Council of the Young Men's Christian Association. 
In the United States, we had gathered inspiration 
and vision for our service from the highly efficient 
and spiritual chairman Mrs. F. Louis Slade. 
Closely associated with Mrs. Slade was Mrs. Elsie 
Meade, whose warm sympathy and steady hand 
was such a comfort, first, to the out-going women 
in America, and later in France with its ever- 
changing camp life. There was Miss Crawford, 
whose alert service and cheerful word in the office 
at home and in France meant so much to the Y 
woman who sought information. Our first assign- 
ment in France was made by Mrs. Theodore Roose- 
velt, Jr., and the second by Miss Ella Sachs, both 
of whom gave to the Young Men's Christian Asso- 
ciation a wealth of devoted service purely for 
the love of their country. There was Miss Martha 
McCook, who for so long stood so faithfully at 
the head of the women's personnel abroad. Who 
of the secretaries will ever forget Dr. Cockett? 
Giving herself first to pioneer work in the camp, she 



afterwards stood as a tower of strength and knowl- 
edge to the newly-arrived secretary. Last but not 
least came Mrs. W. L. Wright, with her under- 
standing and appreciation of the colored unit in 

The colored women who served overseas had a 
tremendous strain placed upon their Christian 
ideals but the officials whom we have mentioned, 
one and all, as did now and then a regional secre- 
tary like Miss Susanne Ridgeway at St. Nazaire, 
Miss Harris at Aix-les-Bains or the Misses Watson 
and Shaw at Brest, helped them to keep their faith 
in the democracy of real Christian service. 

A whole volume of interest centers about those 
two weeks in Paris. The conferences from which 
we gathered facts and details that would find prac- 
tical expression on the field; the meeting of old 
friends and the making of new; the full realization 
of the restrictions of the army and its penalties 
for disobedience; the fortitude and fineness of the 
French all this and more crowded upon us in 
those days and wonderfully strengthened us for 
our task. And then, one day, one of us faced 
toward Brest and the other toward St. Nazaire to 
love and serve our men at those ports. 


All honor is due the faithful men and women of both 
races at home, who by a great expenditure of time, 
money and energy, made possible the operation of the 
great plan of bringing comfort and relief to the soldiers 
through the Welfare Organizations overseas. And while 
there was disappointment in the hopes of many an 
honest heart, in that there were prejudices and discrimina- 
tions often shown to the colored race, and sometimes in- 
justices to the soldiers of both races, still, the army 
would have been a barren place had these institutions 
not existed. The great good that was done gives much 
hope for the possibilities of organized welfare effort in 
the future. 


The Y. M. C. A. and Other Welfare 

IT was our privilege to go overseas as welfare 
worker under the auspices of the Y. M. C. A., 
and from the time we entered active duty until we 
finished our work at Camp Pontanezen, we can 
conscientiously say that we had the greatest oppor- 
tunity for service that we have ever known; service 
that was constructive, and prolific with wonderful 
and satisfying results. 

The contact with a hundred thousand men, many 
of whom it was our privilege to help in a hundred 
different ways; men who were groping and dis- 
couraged; others who were crying loudly for help, 
that they might acquire just the rudiments of an 
education, and so establish connection with the 
anxious hearts whom they had left behind ; and still 
others who had a depth of understanding and a 
breadth of vision that was at once a help and an 

It was a wonderful spirit that prompted the 
Y. M. C. A. to offer its vast facilities to this service ; 
to cheer and encourage; to administer to the spir- 
itual and physical needs; and to establish a con- 
necting link between the soldier and the home; that 
home which ever kept for him a beckoning candle 
in the window, and a fire that was ever aglow. 

And no less wonderful was the spirit of the Red 
Cross, the Salvation Army, the Knights of Colum- 



bus, the Jewish Welfare Board, and the Y. W. C. A. 

For the privilege of serving in this capacity we 
shall ever be grateful, and not only for the privi- 
lege of service, but for the privilege of contact 
with a wonderful and soulful people; for the privi- 
lege of seeing their beautiful gardens, their fertile 
fields, their snowcapped mountains and winding 
rivers; for the privilege of gathering inspiration 
from their wealth of architectural beauty, their 
wonderful art galleries and cultural centers; and 
for the privilege of serving in even the smallest 
way to help in the preservation of the treasures of 
this wonderful civilization, for the generations of 
the future. 

But to help to mar the beauty and joy of this 
service was ever-present war, with its awful toll of 
death and suffering; and then the service of the 
colored welfare workers was more or less clouded 
at all times with that biting and stinging thing 
which is ever shadowing us in our own country, 
and which marked our pathway through all our 
joyous privilege of giving the best that was within 
us of labor and devotion. 

j Upon our arrival in Paris we met Mr. Matthew 
Bullock and his staff of four secretaries, includ- 
ing the first colored woman, who had been ordered 
home as persona non grata to the army; this was 
done on recommendation of army officials in Bor- 
deaux, who had brought from our southland their 
full measure of sectional prejudice. 

This incident resulted in the detention of many 
secretaries, both men and women, from sailing for 



quite a period of time, and no more women came 
for nearly ten months, thus leaving three colored 
women to spread their influence as best they could 
among 150,000 men. 

An incident, in some respects similar, occurred 
in connection with the work in the city of Brest. 
During the days when it became the greatest em- 
barkation port in France, at times there were as 
many as forty thousand men of color, at Camp 
Pontanezen, waiting for transportation home, and 
up until about the 18th of June, 1919, there was 
only one colored Y man there and no women. 
This, too, at a time when Paris had as many as 
forty colored men and women, who had returned 
from their posts of duty, and were willing and 
anxious for reassignment. This spectacle would no 
doubt have continued until the close of the work, 
had not the writers remained in Paris for a period 
of ten days, requesting continuously that they be 
permitted to go to Brest. They were finally ad- 
mitted through the intercession of Mr. W. S. Wal- 
lace, who had become the head of the personnel 
department. When they arrived they were told by 
the secretary at the head of the woman's work for 
that region, that she had tried repeatedly to get 
colored women, but for some reason the Paris office 
had refused to send them. But the Paris office had 
said each time, upon being questioned with regard 
to the matter, that the office at Brest did not desire 
colored women secretaries. This misunderstand- 
ing came about, no doubt, when, one year previous, 
the first colored woman sent there had been re- 



turned to Paris. With the necessary tact and 
investigation on the part of the proper authorities, 
the matter could no doubt have been very easily 
adjusted, when the original men in authority at 
Brest had been replaced by others who were more 
reasonable, and who had more sympathy for the 
colored men; in that case we would not have been 
confronted with the spectacle of numbers of colored 
workers idle in Paris for a period of from four to 
six weeks, just one night's ride from thousands of 
colored soldiers, who were necessarily centered at 
the great home-going port. Had they been there 
they could have been of wonderful service, at a 
time when waiting was a task that tried men's 

Commendable things were accomplished, how- 
ever, through the limited number of colored sec- 
retaries, the sum total of whom finally became 
seventy-eight men and nineteen, women, the rank 
and file of whom were splendid, giving excellent 
service in whatever portion of the A. E. F. to 
which they happened to be assigned. 

Among those who gave especially valiant service 
were Mr. Matthew Bullock, of Boston, Mass., who 
served with the 369th Infantry; Mr. H. 0. Cook, of 
Kansas City, Mo., who served with the 371st; and 
Mr. E. T. Banks, of Dayton, Ohio, who served with 
the 368th. All of these men were cited for brav- 
ery as a result of their services with the combatant 
troops. Mr. Banks went over the top with his 
men in the Vienne, La Chateau sector, of the 
Argonne Forest. Mr. Cook gave gallant service 



in the Champagne offensive, working tirelessly until 
he was gassed; while Mr. Bullock could be seen at 
all times making his way under tremendous shell 
fire that he might reach his men with necessary 
supplies; all of these men won high praise for 
their services in giving first aid to the wounded. 

While there is very little exception to the rule 
that the colored soldiers were generally and won- 
derfully helped by the colored secretaries, and 
while the official heads of the Y. M. C. A. at Paris 
were in every way considerate and courteous to its 
colored constituency, still there is no doubt that 
the attitude of many of the white secretaries in 
the field was to be deplored. They came from all 
parts of the United States, North, South, East and 
West, and brought their native prejudices with them. 
Our soldiers often told us of signs on Y. M. C. A. 
huts which read, "No Negroes Allowed" ; and some- 
times other signs would designate the hours when 
colored men could be served; we remember seeing 
such instructions written in crayon on a bulletin 
board at one of the huts at Camp I, St. Nazaire; 
signs prohibiting the entrance of colored men were 
frequently seen during the beginning of the work 
in that section; but always, when the matter was 
brought to the attention of Mr. W. S. Wallace, the 
regional secretary, he would immediately see that 
they were removed. 

Sometimes, even, when there were no such signs, 
services to colored soldiers would be refused. One 
such soldier came to the Leave Area, and one day, 



1. Miss Turner. 2. Mr. Matthew Bullock. 3. Mrs. Craigwell. 4. 
Misses Edwards and Rochon, and Mr. Owens. 5. Misses Phelps and 
Suarez. 6. Mr. H. O. Cook. 7. Miss Hagan. 8. Mr. E. T. Banks. 


while on a hike to Hannibal's Pass, he confided to 
the writer that he was beginning to see the Y. M. 
C. A. from a different view-point, since he had 
been where there were colored secretaries. That 
at one time, up at the front, he had been marching 
for two days, was muddy to the waist, cold and 
starving, because he had had nothing to eat during 
the entire journey. He came across a Y. M. C. A. 
hut, went in, and asked them to sell him a package 
of cakes. They refused to sell it to him under the 
plea that they did not serve Negroes. 

The writer remembers an appeal that came to 
her one Sunday morning while at St. Nazaire. A 
Sergeant in the Medical Corps desired her to use 
her influence to help to get him out of the guard 
house. On investigation she learned that he had 
been placed there for doing violence to a Y. M. 
C. A. secretary. This secretary served in a hut 
just two blocks from the one in which the writer 
served. It happened to be immediately across the 
street from the dispensary, where the sergeant was 
on duty. Instead of coming to the colored hut, he 
went across the street to the one nearer. The sec- 
retary, with much indignation, told him that he 
did not serve Negroes. The sergeant went back to 
the dispensary, feeling outraged. The next day 
this same Y. M. C. A. secretary went into the dis- 
pensary and asked for some medicine. The ser- 
geant told him he must wait until those ahead of 
him were served; but the secretary persisted that 
he was in a hurry, and must be served at once; 



whereupon the sergeant, still smarting under the 
insult of the day before, unceremoniously ejected 
him from the building. 

One secretary had a colored band come to his 
hut to entertain his men. Several colored soldiers 
followed the band into the hut. The secretary got 
up and announced that no colored men would be 
admitted. The leader of the band, a white man, 
by the way, immediately informed his men that 
they need not play; whereupon all departed and 
there was no entertainment. Some huts would per- 
mit colored men to come in and purchase supplies 
at the canteen, but would not let them sit down and 
write, while others received them without any dis- 
crimination whatever. 

Quite a deal of unpleasantness was experienced 
on the boats coming home. One secretary in charge 
of a party sailing from Bordeaux, attempted to 
put all the colored men in the steerage. They 
rebelled and left the ship ; whereupon arrangements 
were made to give them the same accommodations 
as the others. 

On another boat there were nineteen colored 
welfare workers; all the women were placed on a 
floor below the white women, and the entire colored 
party was placed in an obscure, poorly ventilated 
section of the dining-room, entirely separated from 
the other workers by a long table of Dutch civil- 
ians. The writer immediately protested; the reply 
was made that southern white workers on board 
the ship would be insulted if the colored workers 



ate in the same section of the dining-room with 
them, and, at any rate, the colored people need 
not expect any such treatment as had been given 
them by the French. 

But Y. M. C. A. secretaries were not always 
responsible for discriminations that occurred in the 
Y. M. C. A. huts. In some places, commanding 
officers would order signs put up. On another page 
is a picture of a hut located at Camp Guthrie, near 
St. Nazaire. The small sign just on the right of the 
picture says, "Colored Soldiers Only." The hut 
secretary here was a colored man, the Rev. T. A. 
Griffith, formerly of Des Moines, Iowa, and Topeka, 
Kan. To this hut came many white soldiers to 
listen to his sermons, and to get into the ice cream 
line at the canteen. At the same time many of 
the colored soldiers went to the other hut, where 
there was a white secretary, to be served in the ice 
cream line. In time these boys were told that they 
must get out of the line and be served at their own 
hut. Simultaneously Rev. Griffith was told to keep 
the white men out of his line, and let them be 
served where there were white secretaries. Rev. 
Griffith did not do this, but left the order to be 
enforced by the colonel who had made it. When 
the colonel saw that his order was not being recog- 
nized at the colored hut, he had the sign put up as 
shown in the picture. Rev. Griffith made a num- 
ber of efforts to get the sign removed, but to no 

The following is a copy of an order issued in 
another section: 




Y. M. C. A. 

There are two Y. M. C. A.'s, one near the camp, for 
white troops, and one in town, for the colored troops. 
All men will be instructed to patronize their own Y. 
By order of COL. DOANE. 

JOHN A. SCHWEITZER, 1st Lt. Inf., 
May, 1919. Adjutant. 

But there were splendid men among both secre- 
taries and army officials, who honestly and actively 
opposed discrimination. Mention already has been 
made of our personal knowledge of Mr. W. S. 
Wallace at St. Nazaire, who was always on the 
alert to see that the colored soldiers had a square 
deal; while at Brest we found an equally fine 
spirit in the person of Major Roberts, the army wel- 
fare officer. 

While welfare organizations other than the 
Y. M. C. A. did not employ colored workers, still, 
we had the opportunity of observing the attitude 
they assumed toward the colored troops. It was a 
part of the multiplicity of the duties of colored 
Y women to visit the hospitals; here they found 
colored soldiers placed indiscriminately in wards 
with white soldiers, while officers were accorded the 
same treatment as were their white comrades. 
However, we learned that in some places, colored 
officers would be placed in wards with private sol- 
diers, instead of being given private rooms, as was 



1. Hut 5, Camp Lusitania, St. Nazaire. The largest Y. M. C. A. hut in 

France, with full staff of three secretaries. 

From left to right J. C. Croom, Kathryn M. Johnson, F. O. 

Nichols, traveling Lecturer on Civics, said Walter Price. 

2. Last Y. M. C. A. hut built in France, showing sign in upper right 

corner, reading, "Colored Soldiers Only." 


their military right; and one soldier tells how, 
after being twice wounded in the Argonne drive, 
he was taken to Base Hospital No. 56; here he, and 
others, waited three days before they could secure 
the attention of either a doctor or a nurse; but 
when these attendants finally came, the colored 
soldiers were taken from the hospital beds and 
placed on cots which were shoved into one end of 
the room where there was no heat; they then re- 
ceived medical attention, always after the others 
had been well attended, and were given the food 
that remained after the others had been served. 

There was one notable incident of discrimina- 
tion on the part of the Knights of Columbus. It 
occurred at Camp Romagne, where there were 
about 9,000 colored soldiers engaged in the heart- 
breaking task of reburying the dead. The white 
soldiers here were acting as clerks, and doing the 
less arduous tasks. The Knights of Columbus 
erected a tent here and placed thereon a sign to 
keep colored soldiers away. The colored soldiers, 
heartsore because they, of all the soldiers, Ger- 
man prisoners, etc., that there were in France, 
should alone be forced to do this terrible task of 
moving the dead from where they had been tem- 
porarily buried to a permanent resting place, im- 
mediately resented the outrage and razed the tent 
to the ground. The officers became frightened lest 
there should be mutiny, mounted a machine gun 
to keep order, and commanded the four colored 
women who were doing service there to proceed at 
once to Paris. 

3 31 


As a rule, only words of praise were heard for 
the Salvation Army, whose field of service was 
very small but very excellent. 

The Y. W. C. A. was another welfare organiza- 
tion with overseas workers; their field of service 
was among the women welfare workers of other 
organizations, and the French war brides who 
were waiting to come to America with their 
American soldier husbands. No colored repre- 
sentative of this organization was sent over, as the 
number of colored women was so small that she 
would have had no field in which to operate. Few, 
if any, of the white Y. W. C. A. workers gave any 
attention to this little colored group, notwithstand- 
ing the fact that they were women, and Americans, 
just like the others. One, however, remembers a 
greeting of much insulting superiority and snob- 
bishness, by one of its representatives whom she met 
on the street. After that she always felt it neces- 
sary to keep in places where they were not to be 
seen. Of course, all of them were not of this type, 
but there was no way of being sure of those who 
were not. As an organization there is no doubt 
that much good was accomplished by them, espe- 
cially in furnishing reasonable and comfortable 
hotel accommodations for women welfare workers 
in Paris, and also in caring for the wives of sol- 
diers who were waiting to come home, in the 
crowded seaport cities. 

The largest Y. M. C. A. hut in France was one 
built at Camp Lusitania, St. Nazaire, for the use 
of colored soldiers. It was the first hut built for 



our boys, and for its longest period of service was 
under the supervision of Rev. D. Leroy Ferguson, 
of Louisville, Ky. It reached its highest state of 
efficiency and cleanliness under Mr. J. C. Groom, of 
Goldsboro, N. C. It did service for 9,000 men, and 
had, in addition to the dry canteen, a library of 
1,500 volumes, a money-order department which 
sometimes sent out as much as $2,000 a day to 
the home folks; a school room where 1,100 illiter- 
ates were taught to read and write; a large lobby 
for writing letters and playing games ; and towards 
the close of the work, a wet canteen, which served 
hot chocolate, lemonade and cakes to the soldiers. 

To this hut one of us was assigned, and served 
there for nearly nine months. The work was 
pleasant and profitable to all concerned, and no 
woman could have received better treatment any- 
where than was received at the hands of these 9,000 
who helped to fight the battle of St. Nazaire by 
unloading the great ships that came into the harbor. 
Among the duties found there were to assist 
in religious work; to equip a library with books, 
chairs, tables, decorations, etc., and establish a 
system of lending books; to write letters for the 
soldiers; to report allotments that had not been 
paid; to establish a money order system; to search 
for lost relatives at home; to do shopping for the 
boys whose time was too limited to do it them- 
selves; to teach illiterates to read and write; to 
spend a social hour with those who wanted to tell 
her their stories of joy or sorrow. 

All of this kept one woman so busy that she 



found no time to think of anything else, not even 
to take the ten days' vacation which was allowed her 
every four months. In a hut of similar size among 
white soldiers, there would have been at least six 
women, and perhaps eight men. Here the only 
woman had from two to five male associates. 
Colored workers everywhere were so limited that 
one person found it necessary to do the work of 
three or four. 

Just on the suburbs of St. Nazaire, about two 
miles from Camp Lusitania, was another hut, the 
second oldest for colored men in France. Here 
the other one of the writers spent six months of 
thrilling, all-absorbing service; while about six 
miles out, in the little town of Montoir, where 
thousands of labor troops and engineers had per- 
manent headquarters, the third of the colored 
women to come to this section ran a large canteen, 
supplying chocolate, doughnuts, pie and some- 
times ice cream to the grateful soldiers. This hut 
was far too small for the number of soldiers it 
had to entertain, but it was made large in its hospi- 
tality by the genial, good-natured, energetic Mr. 
William Stevenson, its first hut secretary, now 
Y. M. C. A. secretary, Washington, D. C. He 
started the work in a tent, and built it up to a veri- 
table thriving beehive of activity. 

There were several other localities in the neigh- 
borhood of St. Nazaire, where one colored secre- 
tary would be utilized to reach an isolated set. 
They usually worked in tents. Other places where 
Y. M. C. A. buildings, huts or tents for colored 



soldiers were located, were Bordeaux, Brest, Le 
Mans, Challes-les-Eaux, Chambery, Marseilles, 
Joinville, Belleau Wood, Fere-en-Tardenois, Orly, 
Is-sur-Tille, Remacourt, Chaumont, and Camp 
Romagne near Verdun. 

Rolling canteens ran out from some places, 
reaching points where the soldiers had no Y. M. 
C. A. conveniences. This was a small automobile 
truck, equipped with material for serving chocolate 
and doughnuts, and operated by a chauffeur, and 
a Y woman who dispensed smiles and sunshine to 
the ofttimes homesick boys, along with whatever 
she had to tempt their appetites. 

The last, and perhaps the most difficult piece of 
constructive work done by the colored workers, was 
at Camp Pontanezen, Brest. It has been told in 
another chapter how one of the writers received 
Brest as her first appointment, and how she was 
immediately informed upon her arrival that be- 
cause of the roughness of the colored men, she 
would not be allowed to serve them. That woman 
went away with the determination to return to 
Brest, and serve the colored men there, if there 
was any way to make an opening; so after finish- 
ing her work in the Leave Area, she and her co- 
worker, who had been relieved from duty at Camp 
Romagne, were finally permitted to go there, as 
has been previously explained. 

Upon their arrival, they were told that they would 
be assigned to Camp President Lincoln, where there 
were about 12,000 S. 0. S. troops. Here there 
were several secretaries and chaplains, and the 



need was greater at Camp Pontanezen, where there 
were 40,000 men, and only one colored secretary. 
The writers requested that they be located there. 
The appointment was held up for one day, and 
finally they became located at Soldiers' Rest Hut, 
in the desired camp. 

They were told that they must retain a room in 
the city, as the woman's dormitory at Camp Pon- 
tanezen was filled to its capacity. But they con- 
tended that to do so would take them away from 
the soldiers at a time in the evening when they 
could be of the greatest service. Finally, it was 
arranged for them to stay in the hut, much to the 
dissatisfaction of the white secretary in charge. 

The next morning before they left their room, 
a message was received, telling them that trans- 
portation would be at the door at any moment they 
desired, to take them back to Brest; that Major 
Roberts, the Camp Welfare Officer, had said that 
they must not stay in the hut. Upon investigation 
by Mr. B. F. Lee, Jr., the lone colored secretary 
at this tremendous camp, it was learned that Major 
Roberts had been told that the women were uncom- 
fortable, and did not wish to stay. 

Mr. Lee explained that such was not true. The 
Welfare Officer then visited the hut, talked with the 
women, recognized the situation, gave his consent 
to their staying, and assured them that he was 
willing and ready to do anything in his power to 
make them comfortable, and assist in equipping 
the hut. The white secretary, seeing that the 
women were going to stay, acquiesced in the situa- 



tion, instead of moving out, and did everything he 
could to assist. 

After this there was no difficulty experienced at 
Camp Pontanezen. The camp secretary and his 
staff put every means at our disposal to assist us 
in the work, while the head of the women's work 
was at all times helpful and sympathetic. From 
the time she received us at Brest, until our depart- 
ure, she showed us every consideration and cour- 
tesy due Y. M. C. A. secretaries. 

During the nearly seven weeks there, the chief 
of the women's work for France paid the city a 
visit, in order that she might, among other things, 
visit the colored work. 

The two women remained in the same hut about 
two weeks, when Major Roberts gave one of the 
most beautiful huts in the camp to the colored 
soldiers. It had been occupied by the 106th 
Engineers, and had been built for their own private 
use. It contained a beautiful stage; a large audi- 
torium, seating 1,100 people, with a balcony and 
boxes for officers. It also had a beautiful library 
and reading room, as well as a wet canteen. To 
this hut came Mr. B. F. Lee, Jr., and one of the 
women, while the other remained at Soldiers' Rest 
Hut, and became its hut secretary. To join them 
came two other women from Paris, one of whom 
was placed in each hut, making the total number 
of women secretaries, four. 

The new hut was quickly gotten in order, sleeping 
quarters being arranged, a new library built, and 



a game room made by removing partitions from 
under the balcony. 

There were several other large huts at Camp 
Pontanezen, that were used for long periods ex- 
clusively by colored soldiers; but in the absence 
of colored women, white women, sometimes as 
many as five in a hut, gave a service that was 
necessarily perfunctory, because their prejudices 
would not permit them to spend a social hour with 
a homesick colored boy, or even to sew on a ser- 
vice stripe, were they asked to do so. But the 
very fact that they were there showed a change in 
the policy from a year previous, when a colored 
woman even was not permitted to serve them. 

In nearly all the Y. M. C. A. huts, in every sec- 
tion of France, moving pictures would be operated 
every afternoon and evening. Many times before 
the movies, some kind of an entertainment would 
be furnished by the entertainment department of 
the Y. M. C. A. There were shows furnished by 
French or American dramatists; concert parties by 
singers and musicians of all nationalities, and fre- 
quently a lecture on health and morals. The 
movies and shows were the most popular forms of 
entertainment, and on these occasions the huts 
would always be crowded, as all entertainments 
given by the Y. M. C. A. were free. 

The organization also did much to promote clean 
morals among the men, by the free distribution of 
booklets, tracts, and wholesome pictures. This 
literature would be placed in literature cases, and 
the men would select their own material, while the 



pictures would be placed in parts of the hut where 
they would be easily visible. Some of the booklets 
which were unusually popular among the men were 
"Nurse and Knight," "Out of the Fog," "When a 
Man's Alone," "The Spirit of a Soldier," and 
"A Square Deal"; while quantities of other stories 
with sharply drawn morals were distributed by the 
thousands and thousands of copies. 

All told, the Y. M. C. A., with a tremendous 
army of workers, many of whom were untrained, 
did a colossal piece of welfare work overseas. The 
last hut for the colored Americans in France was 
closed at Camp Pontanezen, Brest, on August 3, 
1919, by one of the writers; the two of them hav- 
ing given the longest period of active service of 
any of the colored women who went overseas. 


"These men are high of soul, as they face their fate 
on the shell-shattered earth, or in the skies above, or in 
the waters beneath; and no less high of soul are the 
women with torn hearts and shining eyes; the girls whose 
boy lovers have been struck down in their golden morn- 
ing, and the mothers and wives to whom word has been 
brought that henceforth they must walk in the shadow." 

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, in "The Great Adventure"* 

* By permission of Charles Scribner's Sons. 

The Combatant Troops 

IT was our greatest hope, when we left that great 
city of the Middle West, in May, 1918, that 
we might have the privilege of serving those sol- 
diers whom we had seen march proudly away 
about six months before, and entrain for the city 
of the South, there to prepare to take their part on 
the great western front, in the world's greatest 
war. It was at once a joyous and heart-aching 
privilege to follow them from the spacious 8th 
Regiment Armory, through the penetrating breeze 
from Lake Michigan, in order that we might see 
them bid a last adieu to those who loved them 
most; the mothers, wives, and sweethearts who 
clung to the car windows and steps for a last tear- 
ful embrace, as the train prepared to move slowly 
away, bearing its burden of human freight, some 
of whom were not to return, but were to remain 
resting in those fields whose blood-red poppies 
seemed death's perfect emblem of crimson beauty. 
But failing to have the privilege of serving them, 
we desired in all earnestness of heart to serve 
whatever other colored regiments were marshaled 
in battle array against the foe; those who were 
facing the shot and shell; the poison gas and 
liquid flame; the bombs from above and the mines 
from beneath; who were struggling through barbed 
wire entanglements, and sleeping in trenches and 
dugouts; who were suffering in all possible ways 
from the wicked ingenuity of the Germans; who 



went for days without food and drink; and who 
offered themselves as a supreme sacrifice to help 
to make the world safe for democracy. 

To these troops we owe much for our splendid 
record in the World War. They summoned with 
superhuman strength the courage to overcome the 
galling and heart-breaking discriminations which 
they had known before they crossed the seas; the 
open and public discussion as to whether colored 
men should be allowed to fight; the tragedy of 
Houston, and the resulting discouragement at Des 
Moines; 1 the impudence of the commanding officer 
at Camp Funston, and the pre-arranged and in- 
famous plan to discredit colored officers on the 
battlefields; all this was sufficient to sap their very 
life blood before it had a chance to crimson the 
soil of Flanders Fields; and it was to these troops 
that we felt we owed all that could be given of 
service and devotion. 

But we were not permitted to do this ser- 
vice for which we longed so much, and conse- 
quently our chapter on Combatant Troops must be 
a record of facts which we have gathered from 
officers and men of the different organizations who 
have so kindly and willingly come to our assist- 
ance. True, it is a brief record; the full record 
must be left to those who write the histories; but 
we hope it is quite sufficient to establish for all 
time the fact that these troops lived up to the full 
measure of their opportunity; that whether under 
white or colored leadership, they fought bravely 
and with undaunted courage; that their spirit of 



patience and long suffering enabled them to over- 
come even the battle of prejudice, which had fol- 
lowed them even into that war-torn country, and 
which at times was more ominous and terrible than 
any war- weary conflict; and finally that they won 
for themselves a crown whose glory and beauty 
will increase with the passing of the years. 


The American colored men had very small 
opportunity to get training that would fit them 
for officers before going overseas; there was only 
one graduate of West Point available, Col. Charles 
Young, of Wilberforce, Ohio; unfortunately the 
army found him physically unfit, and retired him 
from active service just one day before a long list 
of brigadier generals was made, among whom he 
was sixth in line for promotion. He was finally 
called back into active service, and since the war 
has ended has been sent to Africa. A white 
colonel remarked in his introduction of Colonel 
Young to a large meeting held at St. Mark's M. E. 
Church, 53rd Street, New York City, in December, 
1919, and in the hearing of the writer, that it was 
very plain that the only reason why this dark- 
skinned military officer had been retired, was that 
the army did not want a black general. 

For a number of years preceding our entrance 
into the war, no colored students had been admitted 
to West Point, and graduation was ever refused 



them at the Annapolis Naval Academy. One 
colored school, however Wilberforce University 
had maintained for a number of years a de- 
partment of military tactics supported by the gov- 
ernment. Here Colonel Young, and other regular 
army officers had been kept from time to time as 
instructors. During the war 65 men, graduates 
and undergraduates of the school, received com- 
missions as officers. 

The small number who had received limited 
training here, however, was quite inadequate to be 
of much service among any considerable number 
of troops ; and the problem of how to train colored 
officers became quite a vexation; the camps that 
gave six weeks' training to white men did not wish 
to admit them, and there were many who argued 
that colored men should not be allowed to become 
soldiers, and that therefore there would be no 
need for colored officers. Southern congressmen 
were particularly alarmed over any prospects of 
colored men learning to use guns. 

After some weeks of agitation, however, the war 
department decided to establish a training camp at 
Des Moines, Iowa, where about 1,100 men entered 
for the three months' course. Over six hundred 
received commissions as 2nd Lieutenants, 1st Lieu- 
tenants, or Captains. There seemed to be a rule 
that no colored man in training should receive a 
commission higher than that of captain. Most of 
these men were college graduates, and on the whole 
were of a very high type. 



They were assigned to the 92nd Division, and to 
any other units where colored officers were allowed 
to serve, and were needed; but the record of the 
92nd Division shows more than that of any other 
organization the ability of the officers of the Des 
Moines Training School. 

The 92nd Division was composed of the 365th 
and 366th Infantries, and the 350th Machine Gun 
Battalion, which made up the 183rd Infantry 
Brigade, commanded by General Barnum; and 
the 367th and 368th Infantries, together with the 
351st Machine Gun Battalion, which made up the 
184th Infantry Brigade, commanded by General 
Hay. These two Brigades, commanded by colored 
officers as high as the rank of captain, together with 
the 167th Artillery Brigade, commanded with few 
exceptions, by white officers, made up the 92nd 
Division, which was under the command of Major 
General Ballou. 

Major General Ballou had had charge of the 
Training School at Des Moines, at which time his 
rank was that of colonel. Through the influence of 
friends, some colored men included, he was pro- 
moted, and given charge of this large body of 
colored troops ; but before he left for France, even, 
he caused an order to be issued, known as Bulletin 
No. 35, which must have operated in no small 
degree to destroy his influence with his men, and 
cause a humiliation of spirit among them which 
would take away whatever desire they might have 
had to lay down their lives that Democracy might 
live. The following is the text of the Bulletin: 





March 28, 1918. 

Bulletin No. 35. 

1. It should be well known to all colored officers and 
men that no useful purpose is served by such acts as 
will cause the "Color Question" to be raised. It is not 
a question of legal rights, but a question of policy, and 
any policy that tends to bring about a conflict of races, 
with its resulting animosities, is 1 prejudicial to the mili- 
tary interests of the 92nd Division, and therefore preju- 
dicial to an important interest of the colored race. 

2. To avoid conflicts the Division Commander has re- 
peatedly urged that all colored members of his com- 
mand, and especially the officers and non-commissioned 
officers should refrain from going where their presence 
will be resented. In spite of this injunction, one of 
the sergeants of the Medical Department has recently 
precipitated the precise trouble that should be avoided, 
and then called on the Division Commander to take sides 
in a row that should never have occurred, and would not 
have occurred had the sergeant placed the general good 
above his personal pleasure and convenience. This 
sergeant entered a theatre, as he undoubtedly had a legal 
right to do, and precipitated trouble by making it possi- 
ble to allege race discrimination in the seat he was given. 
He is entirely within his legal rights in the matter, and 
the theatre manager is legally wrong. Nevertheless the 
sergeant is guilty of the greater wrong in doing any- 
thing, no matter how legally correct, that will provoke 
race animosity. 

3. The Division Commander repeats that the success 
of the Division with all that that success implies, is de- 



pendent upon the good will of the public. That public 
is nine-tenths white. White men made the Division, and 
can break it just as easily as it becomes a trouble maker. 

4. All concerned are again enjoined to place the gen- 
eral interest of the Division above personal pride and 
gratification. Avoid every situation that can give rise 
to racial ill-will. Attend quietly and faithfully to your 
duties, and don't go where your presence is not desired. 

5. This will be read to all organizations of the 92nd 

By Command of Major General Ballou. 


Lieutenant Colonel General Staff, 
Chief of Staff. 



Captain, Assistant Adjutant, Acting Adjutant. 

Nothing that General Ballou could do in the 
way of prosecuting the theatre manager, which he 
is said to have done, could alleviate the moral effect 
of this order upon men who were being sent to 
another country to fight for the preservation of the 
very privileges of which they at that very moment 
were being denied. 

The 92nd Division as a complete unit received 
no training as such in the United States, but arrived 
in France by regiments, the entire number having 

4 47 


landed at Brest by June 20, 1918. The four 
infantry regiments went into training at Bourbon 
les Bains, where they remained seven weeks, when 
they were sent to the Vosges Sector; they remained 
there from August 23 to September 20, and 
were then sent into the region of the Argonne 
Forest, where they were partially engaged in the 
great Meuse-Argonne Drive. It was here that the 
368th Regiment was sent over the top, without 
being equipped with rifle grenades, instruments 
that were absolutely necessary for use in the de- 
struction of German machine-gun nests. Very few 
of the officers and none of the enlisted men had 
ever seen such a grenade, and the absence of this 
weapon in warfare where guns alone were practi- 
cally useless, caused a retreat which resulted in 
several of the colored officers being arrested and 
sent to prison for cowardice. Capt. Leroy Godman, 
a colored attorney from Columbus, Ohio, secured 
a record of the facts, and after his return to 
America, was instrumental in having them pre- 
sented to the War Department; this action resulted 
in the release and exoneration of the officers, and 
the stigma of cowardice was removed from the 
entire regiment, and public notice of it was given 
in the newspapers throughout the entire country. 

The 92nd Division was never permitted until 
two days before the signing of the Armistice to 
function in battles as an entire unit. The follow- 
ing bulletin by Brigadier General Erwin shows 
how certain parts were at all times kept in reserve: 




A. P. 0. 766 

A. E. F. 

Bulletin No. 13. January 27, 1919. 

1. Participation of the 92nd Division in Major and 
Battle operations during the war. 

St. Die Sector, Vosges, Aug. 23, 1918 Sept. 20, 1918. 
Entire 92nd Division, less Division Artillery. 

Meuse-Argonne Offensive, Sept. 26, 1918 Sept. 20, 1918. 
Entire 92nd Division (less Division Artillery and Train, 
368th Infantry, 3d Battalion 365th Infantry, 1st Battalion 
366th Infantry, 3d Battalion 367th Infantry, 1st Battalion 
317th Military Police) in reserve. 1st Army Corps. 

92nd Division (less 183d Brigade, 317th Engineers and 
Train, Division Artillery, Det. Co. A 317th M.P.) in re- 
serve. 38th Army Corps. 

Sept. 20 Oct. 4, 1918. 

368th Inf. and Companies A. & B. 351st M. G. Bn., 
as liaison troops between 1st Army (American) and 4th 
French Army operating in the Provision Brigade with 
llth Cuirassiers, under command Colonel Durand. 
Sept. 26-30, 1918. 

Oct. 9-Nov. 11, 1918. 

Entire 92nd Division to be centered as date of actual 
arrival in sector. 

Offensive Operation 
2nd Army, Nov. 10-11, 1918. 

Entire 92d Division in Marbache Sector, attacking di- 
rection Corny. 

Patrols, raids, and defense of raids are not mentioned 
here. They are local in character, and concern only the 



units involved. These entries are to be made by company 
commanders, in strict compliance with the following ex- 
tracts from G. 0. 

Discretion must be used by company commanders. 

Dates and locations of some minor operations as de- 
scribed above are the following, (to be entered only by 
elements actually engaged). 

Repulse of enemy raid, C. R. Mere Henry, 
23 hours. 25-26 Aug., 1918. 
St. Die Sector 

Repulse of enemy raid, Trapelle, 
Sept. 1-2, 1918. 

Repulse of enemy raid, C. R. Palon, 

6 to 8 hours. Sept. 9, 1918. 

St. Die Sector, Vosges. 

Repulse of enemy raid, Trapelle, 

Sept. 19, 1918. 
St. Die, Vosges Sector. 

In case where units have operated under independent 
command, as in the case of the 317th Engineers, in the 
Meuse Argonne Offensive, appropriate notation should be 
made under supervision of organization commanders 


Col. General Staff, Chief of Staff. 


Maj. Infantry, Adj. 



This bulletin shows that from September 26 to 
30, 1918, the entire 368th Infantry, and one 
battalion each of the 365th, 366th, and 367th were 
engaged in action in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, 
and that, from September 30 to October 4, the 
183rd Brigade, composed of the 365th and 366th 
Infantries, was actively engaged in the same offen- 
sive. But at no time is the entire 92nd Division 
shown to be in active service except on November 
10 and 11, when it is reported to be attacking 
in the direction of Corny. 

During its activities the Division lost 248 men 
and 7 officers killed and died of wounds. There 
were a number of individual citations for bravery, 
and one entire battalion belonging to the 367th 
Infantry was awarded the Croix de Guerre. On 
the morning of the signing of the Armistice the 
365th Infantry had taken several hundred yards of 
the battle front, the 366th had captured and was 
still in possession of several kilometers of terri- 
tory, and the 367th was nearest to the coveted 
stronghold of Metz of any of the units of the 
Allied Armies. Had the war lasted another day, 
the entire Division, along with six other divisions, 
had been selected to absorb the first shock of the 

Because of some unusually interesting things 
that happened in connection with the 367th Infan- 
try, and because it has the distinction of having 
the only entire unit of the 92nd Division that was 
awarded the Croix de Guerre, its full history fol- 
lows in some detail: 




The 367th Infantry came into existence at Camp 
Upton, N. Y., during the latter part of October, 
1917. Sixty per cent of the soldiers who composed 
this regiment were from the State of New York, 
the South furnished 20 per cent, while the re- 
mainder came from New England and the West. 
It was commanded by Colonel Moss, a regular army 
man, originally from Louisiana, and an authority 
on military tactics, having published several books 
on the subject. He took charge of the regiment on 
November 2, 1917, and spent the winter in giving 
it what is said to have been the most thorough 
training of all the drafted regiments. He also 
christened the organization with the name of Buf- 
faloes ; this name had been given to colored soldiers 
by the Indians, in the early western pioneer days, 
when colored troops made it so interesting for the 
Red Men in frontier warfare, as to remind them 
of the buffaloes of their own great western plains. 
The name was finally adopted by the entire 92nd 

On June 10, 1918, the regiment embarked for 
France, landing at Brest on June 19. They rested 
for a few days in dog tents, pitched on the cold wet 
ground at Camp Pontanezen, and then entrained for 
Haute Saone, where they were given seven weeks' 
intensive training in trench warfare and gas instruc- 
tion, along with the other regiments of the 92nd 
Division. Several officers, both white and colored, 




were given additional training in the American 
Training School at Gondre Court. 

On August 22, the regiment took over its first 
trenches at the front in the Vosges Sector, where 
they remained until September 18, during which 
time numerous raids, patrols, etc., were planned 
and executed. 

One of the interesting things that happened to 
them while in this sector, was the dropping of 
propaganda literature from German aircraft. The 
following circular was picked up by them on 
September 3, 1918: 


"Hello, boys, what are you doing over here? Fighting 
the Germans? Why? Have they ever done you any 
harm? Of course some white folks and the lying Eng- 
lish-American papers told you that the Germans ought to 
be wiped out for the sake of humanity and Democracy. 
What is Democracy? Personal freedom; all citizens en- 
joying the same rights socially and before the law. Do 
you enjoy the same rights as the white people do in 
America, the land of freedom and Democracy, or are 
you not rather treated over there as second class citizens? 

Can you get into a restaurant where white people dine? 
Can you get a seat in a theatre where white people sit? 
Can you get a seat or a berth in a railroad car, or can 
you even ride in the South in the same street car with 
the white people? 

And how about the law? Is lynching and the most 
horrible crimes connected therewith, a lawful proceeding 
in a Democratic country? Now all this is entirely differ- 
ent in Germany, where they do like colored people; 



where they treat them as gentlemen and as white men, 
and quite a number of colored people have fine posi- 
tions in business in Berlin and other German cities. 
Why, then, fight the Germans only for the benefit of 
the Wall Street robbers, and to protect the millions that 
they have loaned to the English, French, and Italians? 

You have been made the tool of the egotistic and 
rapacious rich in America, and there is nothing in the 
whole game for you but broken bones, horrible wounds, 
spoiled health, or death. No satisfaction whatever will 
you get out of this unjust war. You have never seen 
Germany, so you are fools if you allow people to make 
you hate us. Come over and see for yourself. Let those 
do the fighting who make the profit out of this war. 
Don't allow them to use you as cannon fodder. 

To carry a gun in this service is not an honor but a 
shame. Throw it away and come over to the German 
lines. You will find friends who will help you." 

After leaving the Vosges Sector, the organization 
was sent to the Marbache Sector, where it joined 
the other regiments of the 92nd Division just out- 
side of Toul. It was here that the First Battalion 
distinguished itself by coming to the rescue of the 
56th Infantry on the left. Captain Morris, and 
Lieutenants Hunton, Dabney, and Davidson were 
instrumental in having the terrific fire which was 
being directed at the regiment, turned onto their 
own organization, thus enabling the suffering troops 
to retire to safety; they were at the same time able 
to hold their own ground and take over the terri- 
tory of the retiring soldiers. For this action the 
Battalion was cited in glowing terms by a French 
General, and awarded the Croix de Guerre. It was 



also given special mention by Major General 

Staff officers of this regiment tried very hard to 
prevent entrance of men into French homes. One 
medical sergeant tells of order issued in French 
and English, fixing penalty for such at living on 
bread and water in pup tents for 24 hours, and 
being forced to hike 18 miles with pack. 

After the signing of the Armistice, the regiment 
was sent to the forwarding camp at Le Mans. Here 
some interesting things happened by way of race 
discrimination. On January 21, 1919, General 
Pershing made a visit to the camp for the purpose 
of reviewing the troops. Following is a memo- 
randum posted for the benefit of the colored troops: 


A. P. 0. 762. 

Memorandum: No. 299 E. 0. 

To All Organizations. January 21, 1919. 

1. For your information and guidance. 

9:30 A.M. Arrive Forwarding Camp. All troops 
possible, except colored to be under arms. 

Formation to be designed by General Longan. 

Only necessary supply work an^ police work to be 
performed up to the time troops are dismissed in order 
that they may prepare for reception of General Pershing. 
As soon as dismissed, men to get into working clothes 
and go to their respective tasks in order that Commander- 



in-Chief may see construction going on. (Work of dry 
delousing plant not to be interrupted.) Colored troops 
will be passed through wet delousing process as planned. 

Colored troops will furnish usual police details, and 
their work not interrupted. 

Colored troops who are not at work, to be in their 
quarters, or in their tents, kitchens, delousing plants, 
etc>, to be inspected. 

Route followed to be designated by General Longan. 

Plan of Forwarding Camp as planned to be in pos- 
session of General Longan to show Commander-in-Chief. 

11:00 A.M. Leave Forwarding Camp going to Classi- 
fication Camp by way of Spur. 

Officers not on duty will assemble at these Headquar- 
ters at 9:15 A.M. 


Major C. A. C., U. S. A., Camp Adjutant. 


A. P. O. 766, A. E. F. 

January 21, 1919. 

To Organization Commanders for their information, 
guidance and compliance. 

Men will be kept busy at all times. Area formerly 
used for tents will be levelled, ditches filled in, ditches 
along road will be carefully policed. 



When General Pershing came, he noted the 
absence of the colored troops, and asked for them. 
He was told that they were at work. Whereupon 




he set another day for a return trip, in order that 
he might review them also. 

Another order prescribing the eating place for 
colored officers at the Le Mans Evacuation Camp 
was as follows: 


January 25, 1919. 
Memorandum C. 0. 367th Infantry: 

White officers desiring meals in their quarters will 
have their orderlies report to Lieutenant Williams at the 
tent adjoining Area Headquarters for cards to present at 
Officers' Mess. 

All Colored Officers will mess at Officers' Mess in D.-17. 

1st Lt. Infantry, Area "D" 


Several references have been made to efficiency 
boards and their efforts to remove colored officers 
from the 92nd Division and other colored organi- 
zations. In order that a clear idea may be con- 
veyed as to the type of men who suffered from these 
injustices, as well as how these boards operated, 
the life, training, and experience of the first officer 
of the 92nd Division to undergo such an ordeal, 
follows in detail: 

Captain Matthew Virgil Boutte was born in New 
Iberia, Louisiana, of Creole parentage; his father 
was a sugar planter, of the type that used to strap 



his gun on his saddle girth for protection, and go 
to the poles and vote, in the days when guns were 
used to maintain white supremacy in that State. 

He sent his son to Straight University, New 
Orleans, from 1898 to 1903, where he received the 
rudiments of an education. Afterwards young 
Boutte went to Fisk, where he finished a high school 
course, and a four years' college course; thence to 
the University of Illinois, where he graduated as 
a chemist and pharmacist; he then taught quantita- 
tive chemistry at Meharry Medical College, and 
opened a drugstore in Nashville, Tenn. This he 
disposed of after receiving his commission at the 
Des Moines Training School. While in Nashville, 
he joined the Tennessee National Guard, the only 
Colored National Guard Company in the South. 
With six months' training there as a private, he 
entered the Des Moines School, and was one of 
the few who received the commission of captain. 

On November 1, 1917, he went to Rockford, 111., 
where he attended Machine Gun School at Camp 
Grant, and organized Company 350, Machine Gun 
Battalion. His company was well trained not only 
in military tactics, but also to such a high degree 
of athletic efficiency, that it received a loving 
cup for wnning a cross country run; also won 
cup for individual running in whole brigade. The 
winner, Sergeant Bluitt, was afterward commis- 
sioned lieutenant. 

On June 6, 1918, Captain Boutte sailed for 
France, with the advance officers' party of the 92nd 
Division. They landed at Brest where the colored 



1. Capt. Matthew Virgil Boutte. 
3. Lieut. Benjamin H. Hunton. 4. Lieut. 
Frank L. Chisholm. 6. Lieut. Ernest M. 
R. Daly. 

2. Lieut. J. 

Frank L. 

Williams Clifford. 
Drye. 5. Lieut. 
Gould. 7. Lieut. Victor 


officers received a taste of the American segrega- 
tion that afterwards became so annoying in 
France. Rooms for the entire party, white and 
colored, had been reserved at the Hotel Continental, 
but the colored officers were told to go to Camp 
Pontanezen, where they would find barracks; there 
they were to sleep on boards with no mattresses, 
and only one blanket apiece. Captain Boutte pro- 
tested, and the party returned to Brest, where they 
discovered that the white officers had not made the 
French people understand that the rooms held in 
reserve were for them, and consequently had gone 
elsewhere. Captain Boutte, being able to speak 
French quite fluently, was able to get the reserved 
rooms for the six colored officers. He was sent 
from Brest to Bourbon les Bains to serve as billet- 
ing officer. Here he was told not to take the French 
people's kindness for friendship, but to treat them 
just as he had been taught to treat white people at 
home. When they found that his ability to speak 
French gave him ready entree into French homes, 
they relieved him of all work as billeting officer, 
so that he would have no occasion for going among 
the French people. 

On July 7 he was returned to his company. 
He instructed his men to such a point of efficiency 
that the inspector of machine-gun tactics com- 
mended his work. On July 24 he was placed 
under close arrest. While under arrest he was 
forced to ride from one town to another in an open 
wagon, and between two armed guards, in order 
that his spirit might be thoroughly crushed, and 



his humiliation made complete. Twenty-three 
specifications under the 96th Article of War were 
placed against him. These dealt with duties im- 
posed upon the Commanding Officer of the Com- 
pany by the Commanding Officer of the Battalion. 
After he had been under close arrest for eight 
days, the charges were submitted to him; following 
are samples of specifications: 

"Why did you command your first sergeant to 
remain at home instead of having him on the field 
of drill, as commanded from headquarters?" 

"Why did your mess sergeant not have his bill 
of fare posted on a certain day?" 

Boutte's answer was that in order to be respons- 
ible for his company he must have full control of 
his officers, as was his military right; and as for 
the mess sergeant's bill of fare, it could easily 
have blown away after having been put in its ac- 
customed place. In due time he was called before 
the Efficiency Board, in order that reasons might be 
given why he should not be court-martialed. At 
the trial Major Raborg withdrew all specifications 
but six, saying that he had found that the others 
were not true. Subsequently it was learned that 
he had written a letter to the commanding officer, 
asking that all colored officers be removed. Upon 
being questioned as to the efficiency of Captain 
Boutte, he replied that he was mentally and morally 
efficient, but otherwise he was not. It then became 
evident that it was such a clear case of prejudice, 



that Captain Boutte was returned to his company, 
and Major Raborg removed as commander of the 
battalion. But a number of officers became victims 
of this now notorious efficiency board, and while 
no one would suppose that all colored officers were 
above criticism, and must know that some of them 
were justly removed, still, there is no doubt that 
many of them were as innocent as the subject of 
this sketch. Captain Boutte retained Captain Leroy 
Godman, of Columbus, Ohio, as his attorney, and 
says he owes much to him for his acquittal and 
exoneration. All officers on trial were not so 
fortunate in being able to secure a good colored 
lawyer, while others were simply condemned as 
inefficient, and removed, without being given a 
chance for defense. Capt Boutte was afterwards 
for six months a member of General Pershing's 
staff, with headquarters in Paris. 


Attached to the 92nd Division was the first 
colored Signal Corps ever organized. It was known 
as the 325th Signal Battalion. They were assem- 
bled during the months of December and January, 
1917-18, respectively, and after five months' train- 
ing were sent to France. After an additional period 
of training at Voisey, Haute Marne, they were sent 
to the Vosges Mountains, and afterwards to the 
Argonne, where they engaged in actual warfare; 
they were in the Marbache Sector, near Metz, when 
the Armistice was signed. They were commended 



highly both by the French and American High 
Command, and some of them were cited for 
bravery, and decorated with the Croix de Guerre. 
In the 92nd Division a total number of 14 officers 
and 42 men were cited for bravery. 


The 167th Field Artillery Brigade was composed 
of the 349th, 350th, and 351st Regiments of 
Artillery; the first two handled light equipment, 
and received their training at Camp Dix, while the 
latter had heavy equipment and was trained at 
Camp Meade. They also had attached to them 
the 317th Ammunition Train, whose 36 officers 
were all colored but three. In this organization 
there were several officers promoted, among them 
being Major Milton Dean, of Washington, D. C., 
the only colored man to be promoted to such a rank 
overseas, with the exception of Major Joseph Ward, 
of Indianapolis, Indiana, whose ability and ser- 
vices as a physician were thus recognized; very 
few other promotions of colored officers were made 
in France; a small number of dental lieutenants 
were made captains after the signing of the Armis- 
tice, when they were relocated in the Ser/ice of 
Supply sections; but the majority came back with 
the same rank with which they went over, even 
though they had shown marked ability, and had 
been cited and decorated for bravery. 

Early in October, 1918, 33 colored officers, who 
were to have been attached to the 167th Field 



Artillery, landed in St. Nazaire; they were second 
lieutenants, who had been trained to take the places 
of some of the white officers of that organization; 
but instead, they were first sent to La Corneau, 
near Bordeaux, where they remained about a week; 
they were then ordered to leave there, and after 
about three weeks' junketing about they became 
stationed at Camp Meurcon, near Vannes. At this 
place they were attached to the 63rd American 
Artillery Brigade, composed altogether of southern 
white men; they were required to drill these men, 
even though their prejudices were so strong that 
they would not salute their colored officers if there 
was any possible way to avoid it; but the officers 
stuck to their task, and had started to the front with 
the regiment when the Armistice was signed. They 
were then ordered to Brest to embark for home; 
here they were detached from the regiment and 
returned to Camp Meurcon, near Vannes, where 
they were attached to another white outfit; they 
remained there another three weeks, and were then 
sent to Nancy in search of the 167th Artillery, to 
which they were originally to have been attached; 
finding that the Brigade had left, they proceeded 
to the Evacuation Camp at Le Mans, where they 
found the organization stationed in camps located 
in the neighborhood of the city; they then became 
a part of the official family of the Brigade, but 
some were detached on the eve of their return to 
the States, and made to return home as casuals; 
this seemed to be a part of the policy of those who 
had charge of the transportation of troops. The 

5 63 


writer remembers several incidents during her 
period of service at Brest, where colored officers 
had made all preparations to return with their 
organizations, and within a few hours of sailing 
would be detached; some contended vigorously 
for what they considered their rights, while others 
resigned themselves to their fate; then frequently 
when they would have sailing orders to return home 
as casuals, they would be turned back, when it 
would be discovered that they were colored; some- 
times this occurred even after they had gotten on 
the gang plank. On July 16, 1919, the 184th 
Casual Company, together with the 323rd Ordi- 
nance Battalion, about 300 in number, were sent 
back after half of them had gotten aboard the boat, 
as a result of a protest against their color. Some 
of these men came to the writer sick at heart, and 
said that such treatment seemed more than they 
could bear. 

The 167th Field Artillery, the first of its kind 
that was ever organized, was under the command 
of Brigadier General Sherburne, of Massachusetts, 
who seemed in every way to have the interest of 
the troops at heart; they landed at Brest, June 26, 
1918, and after being attached to the 92nd Division, 
were engaged in action at Pagny, Bois Frehart, 
Cherimo, and Bois La Cote; and it was under the 
barrage of this Brigade that the Division while on 
the Lorraine Front, between Toul and Nancy, was 
able to advance, capture a number of towns, and 
stand ready to enter the coveted stronghold of 
Metz, when the Armistice was signed. 



During their period of action, they gave excel- 
lent service, and the following words of commenda- 
tion were given the 351st Regiment by their com- 




December 27, 1918. 

When you landed in France you were acclaimed as 
comrades in arms, brothers in a great cause. In the 
days that have passed, no man, no little child, has had 
cause to regret that first glorious welcome. Surrounded 
by new and unusual conditions, beset by subtle tempta- 
tions, you have kept your hearts high, and with purpose 
fixed on the high ideal of service, you have put away 
those things that did not contribute strength for the task 
at hand. You have been men. 

Through rain and in tents, or in cold billets, you have 
cheerfully pushed on to fit yourselves for the final test, 
and at length you came to the front lines. There under 
fire by day and night you served the pieces, sending 
back gas for gas, and shell for shell, two for one. The 
orders reached the guns because you maintained the con- 
nections; the ammunition was there because neither the 
elements nor enemy stopped you. The mission has been 
accomplished and you have been what America expects 
her sons to be brave soldiers'. 

Your first six months of service on foreign soil have 
ended; accordingly, all officers and enlisted men of the 
351st Field Artillery are authorized and ordered to wear 
one Service Chevron. As surely as this chevron stands 



for something accomplished, just as surely it imposes 
an added obligation; it sets a new standard of soldierly 
qualities; it is a reminder of what manner of men you 
are. As you have earned it fairly and well, so you will 
strive to be worthy of it, and of the things for which it 
stands', every man a guardian of the good name of the 


Capt. F. A., U. S. A., Adj. 351s/ Field Artillery. 

In taking his farewell of the 167th Field Artil- 
lery Brigade, Brigadier General Sherburne re- 
corded the following: 

1. In leaving the 167th Field Artillery Brigade to take 
up other duties, the Brigade Commander wishes to record 
in General Orders the entire satisfaction it has given him 
to have commanded the first brigade of Negro Artillery 
ever organized. This satisfaction is due to the excellent 
record the men have made. Undertaking a work that was 
new to them, they brought it faithfulness, zeal, and patri- 
otic fervor. They went into the line and conducted 
themselves in a manner to win praise of all. They had 
been picked for important work in the offensive which 
had been planned to start after November llth. 

2. The Brigade Commander will ever cherish the 
words of the Commander in Chief, the compliments he 
paid in all sincerity to this Brigade while he watched 
it pass in review last Wednesday. He wishes the Brigade 
to understand that these words of appreciation were 
evoked only because each man had worked conscientious- 
ly and unflaggingly to make the organization a success. 



3. The Brigade Commander feels that he should also 
make acknowledgment in General Orders of the re- 
markable esprit-de-corps displayed by the officers of the 
Brigade. They were pioneers in a field, where at the 
start, success was problematical. This being the first 
Brigade of its kind ever organized, it has been only 
natural that the work of the men should have been fea- 
tured prominently, yet the same prominence and the same 
praise should be accorded the officers. While the Bri- 
gade Commander takes this occasion to speak of their 
splendid work, he believes that their greatest praise 
will come from the men themselves, not only now, but 
ever in greater measure when they have returned to 
civilian life and have secured the perspective of time 
and experience that will teach them how fortunate they 
were in making the race's initial effort as artillerymen 
under officers who were both skilful artillerymen, and 
sympathetic leaders. 


1st Lieut., F. A., U. S. A., Acting Adjutant. 

In concluding the story of the 92nd Division, 
nothing could be said of more significance than 
the farewell words used by Major General Ballou, 
who had crushed the spirit of the officers and men 
in the very beginning of its existence by the notori- 
ous Bulletin No. 35, and who had continued his 
policy of catering to southern prejudice up until 
the time he was removed from the organization; 
the memorandum is signed by Col. Allen J. Greer, 
who had used his good offices in every way pos- 
sible to get all the colored officers removed from 
the Division. 2 




A. P. 0. 766. 
Memorandum: November 18, 1918. 

Five months ago to-day the 92d Division landed in 

After seven weeks of training it took over a sector in 
the front line, and since then some portion of the Division 
has been practically continuously under fire. 

It participated in the last battle of the war with credita- 
ble success, continuously pressing the attack against 
highly organized defensive works. It advanced success- 
fully on the first day of the battle, attaining its objectives 
and capturing prisoners. This in the face of determined 
opposition by an alert enemy, and against rifle, machine 
gun and artillery fire. The issue of the second day's 
battle was rendered indecisive by the order to cease 
firing at 11 A. M., when the Armistice became effective. 

The Division Commander, in taking leave of what he 
considers himself justly entitled to regard as his Division, 
feels that he has accomplished his mission. His work 
is done and will endure. The results have not always 
been brilliant,, and many times were discouraging, yet 
a well-organized, well-disciplined, and well-trained 
Colored Division has been created and commanded by 
him to include the last shot of the great World War. 

May the future conduct of every officer and man be 
such as to reflect credit upon the Division and upon the 
colored race. 



Col., General Staff, Chief of Staff. 

Ma]. Inf., U. S. A., Acting Adjutant. 




The 93rd Division was to have been composed 
of the 15th New York National Guard (369th 
Infantry), the 8th Illinois National Guard (370th 
Infantry) and the 371st and 372nd Infantries. 
Col. Charles Young was to have been its com- 
mander. The Division never materialized, how- 
ever, and the different regiments were brigaded 
with the French troops. 


The 369th Infantry, or 15th New York National 
Guard was organized in 1916, and did guard duty 
during the summer of 1917 in the States of New 
York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It came into 
existence with the understanding that it was to 
have a full quota of colored officers; some un- 
favorable conditions, however, caused very few 
to attempt to qualify, and when they sailed for 
France on December 14, 1917, they had only the 
following named: Captains Charles W. Fillmore 
and Napoleon B. Marshall, First Lieutenants 
George W. Lacey and James Reese Europe, and 
Second Lieutenant D. Lincoln Reid; the other 
officers were white, with Col. William Hayward 

The regiment landed at Brest on December 27, 
1917, being the first colored American fighting 
troops to put their feet on French soil; on January 
1, 1918, they left by train for St. Nazaire, where 



they remained for two months building railroads, 
docks, piers, and working in store houses, in addi- 
tion to keeping up their military training exercises. 
Here their name was changed from 15th New York 
N. G. to 369th Infantry. On March 12 they were 
sent to Givry in Argonne, where they were billeted 
at Noirleu, St. Mard, and Remacourt. They re- 
mained at these points until April 8, when they 
were sent to Main-de-Massiges, Champagne Sector, 
where they were attached to the 16th Division of 
the 4th French Army, and became to all intents 
and purposes, French soldiers; their only mark of 
differentiation was their uniforms, and sometimes 
they even wore the French helmet. 

For 191 days these soldiers were in the front 
line trenches, and it is claimed by them that they 
remained there for a longer continuous period 
than any troops in the allied armies. They were 
engaged in the battles of Main-de-Massiges, Butte- 
de-Mesil, the Dormois, Seechault, Argonne Forest, 
Ripont, Kuppinase, Vosges Mountains, the Aisne, 
the Tourbe, Maison-en-Champagne, Fontaine, and 
Bellevue Ridge. 

By an accident, it is said, the regimental records 
were lost, but the casualties are estimated at 600 
killed and 3,000 replacements; the replacements 
were made from new recruits just brought over 
from the States, and sometimes they more than 
filled the vacancies made by the killed and 
wounded. These new recruits were often untrained, 
and frequently had to be taught to load a gun 
after they reached the front line trenches; their 


OF 15xH NEW YORK (369TH INF.) 

1. Capt. Charles W. Fillmore. 2. Capt. Napoleon B. Marshall. 3. Group 
of Sergeants. 4. Needham Roberts. 5. Henry Johnson. 


ignorance of how to protect themselves in battle 
caused the list of killed and wounded to be much 
larger than it otherwise would have been; but with 
the assistance of their comrades in arms, they soon 
became seasoned soldiers; and, according to a 
record published by 19 non-commissioned officers, 
while the regiment made tremendous sacrifices, they 
inflicted much greater losses on the enemy than 
they themselves suffered, and captured many 
prisoners and munitions of war. 

For its record in the great German Offensive of 
July, 1918, and the Allied Offensive of the fol- 
lowing September and October, the regiment was 
awarded the Croix de Guerre. In addition to this 
there were 132 officers and men cited for conspic- 
uous and meritorious conduct, and awarded the 
Croix de Guerre or the Legion d'Honneur. Among 
these were the now famous Henry Johnson and 
Needham Roberts, the first two Americans, white 
or colored, to be decorated ; these two men defeated 
twenty or more Germans in one midnight engage- 
ment, by the skillful use of hand grenades, the 
butt ends of their rifles, and the bolo knife; they 
routed an entire machine-gun nest, and brought 
back numerous war trophies; both were severely 
wounded, and remained in the hospital for some 
time before they were again able for service. 

After the victory of the great German Offensive 
of July, 1918, General Gouraud, Commander of 
the 4th French Army, with whom the organization 
was fighting, issued the following bulletin: 



Fourth Army Staff, 
5th B., No. 6954/3. July 16, 1918. 


During the day of July 15th you have broken the 
efforts of fifteen German Divisions supported by ten 

They were, from their orders, to reach the Marne 
in the evening; you have stopped them where we wanted 
to give and to win the battle. 

You have the right to be proud, heroic infantry- 
men and machine gunners of the advanced posts, who 
have signalled the attack, and who have subdivided 
it, aviators who flew over it, battalions and batteries 
who have broken it, staffs who have so minutely pre- 
pared that battlefield. 

It is a hard blow to the enemy. It is a beautiful 
day for France. 

I rely upon you that it will always be the same, 
each time they will dare to attack you, and with all 
my heart of a soldier, I thank you. 

(Signed) GOURAUD. 

In combination with the facts that the regiment 
was the first of the colored Americans to see active 
service at the front, and produced the first two 
winners of the Croix de Guerre of all the soldiers 
of the American Expeditionary Forces, they have 
the final distinction of having been the first unit 
of the Allied Armies to reach the Rhine. They 
arrived at Blodelsheim on the Rhine on November 



18, 1918, as the advance guard of the 161st Divi- 
sion of the 2nd French Army. The next day after 
the signing of the Armistice, Marshal Foch gave out 
the following document to be read to the command; 
it was read to these men three days after they 
reached Blodelsheim: 



France, 21st November, 1918. 


Document No. 21-11-3. 

1. The following is published and will be read to 
the command: 

The Commander in Chief Allies G. H. Q. 

of the Allied Armies November, 12, 1918. 

General Staff 
1st Section 


After having boldly stopped the enemy, you have at- 
tacked them for months with indefatigable faith and 
energy, giving them no rest. 

You have won the greatest battle in history, and saved 
the most sacred cause, the Liberty of the World. 



Be proud of it. 

With immortal glory you have adorned your flags. 

Posterity will be indebted to you with gratitude. 

The Marshal of France, 

Commander in Chief of the Allied Armies, 



T. A. RYAN, 
1st Lt., 369th Infantry, 

Acting Adjutant. 

While the regiment embarked for France with 
five colored officers, it returned with only one, 
Lieutenant James Reese Europe, of the famous 
15th Infantry Band. The others were transferred to 
other organizations under the peculiar system that 
was used for the purpose of moving colored officers 
about like checkers on a checker board. Captain 
Marshall was sent to the 365th Infantry, while the 
other three were attached to the 370th. Captain 
Fillmore was decorated with the Croix de Guerre 
before leaving the 369th, and Lieutenants Lacey 
and Reid after they became members of the regi- 
ment from Illinois, a proof that the French recog- 
nized their ability. 

The regiment returned to the States on Febru- 
ary 12, 1918. They had made a splendid record 
all through their period of service, and in the 
words of a tribute paid by the new 15th Regiment 



to the old they "Never lost a prisoner, a trench, 
nor a foot of ground, and demonstrated for all 
time the bravery of the American Negro, his high 
quality as a soldier, and his devotion to the cause 
of liberty." 

The City of New York gave them a tremendous, 
whole-hearted, and royal welcome, and the New 
York Herald republished in their honor the fol- 
lowing poem from "The Black Phalanx,' 9 com- 
posed by George Henry Boker: 


"Dark as the clouds even, 
Ranked in the western heaven, 
Waiting the breath that lifts 
All the dread mass, and drifts 
Tempest and falling brand 
Over a ruined land, 
So still and orderly, 
Arm to arm, knee to knee, 
Waiting the great event, 
Stands the black regiment. 

Down the long dusky line 
Teeth gleam and eyeballs shine; 
And the bright bayonet, 
Bristling and firmly set, 
Flashed with a purpose grand, 
Long ere the sharp command 
Of the fierce rolling drum 
Told them their time had come, 
Told them what word was sent 
For the black regiment. 



'Now,' the flag-sergeant cried, 
'Though death and hell betide, 
Let the whole nation see 
If we are fit to be 
Free in this land; or bound 
Down, like the whining hound, 
Bound with red stripes of pain 
In our old chains again!' 
Oh, what a shout there went 
From the black regiment! 

'Charge!' trump and drum awoke; 
Onward the bondmen broke; 
Bayonet and saber stroke 
Vainly opposed their rush, 
Through the wild battles' crush, 
With but one thought aflush, 
Driving their lords like chaff, 
In the guns' mouths they laugh, 
Or at the slippery brands, 
Leaping with open hands, 
Down they tear man and horse, 
Down in their awful course; 
Trampling with bloody heel 
Over the crashing steel, 
All their eyes forward bent, 
Rushed the black regiment. 

'Freedom!' their battle cry, 
'Freedom!' or leave to die!' 
Ah! and they meant the word, 
Not as with us 'tis heard, 
Not a mere party shout: 
They gave their spirits out; 
Trusted the end to God, 
And on the gory sod 
Rolled in triumphant blood, 



1. French Anti-Aircraft Gun. 2. Long German Gun. 3. Mrs. 

Hunton in barbed wire entanglement in "No Man's Land." 4. A 

View of Trench in Hindenburg Line, at Soissons. 5. Dead Man's 

Hill. 6. French Flame Throwers. 7. Burying German Dead. 


Glad to strike one free blow, 
Whether for weal or woe; 
Glad to breathe one free breath, 
Though on the lips of death; 
Praying alas! in vain! 
That they might fall again 
So they could once more see 
That burst to liberty! 
This was what 'freedom' lent 
To the black regiment. 

Hundreds on hundreds fell; 
But they are resting well; 
Scourges and shackles strong, 
Never shall do them wrong. 
Oh, to the living few, 
Soldiers, be just and true! 
Hail them as comrades tried; 
Fight with them side by side; 
Never, in field or tent, 
Scorn the black regiment." 


We feel that special emphasis should be given 
the 370th Infantry, because it was the only regi- 
ment that crossed the sea with a full quota of 
colored officers; made a splendid record for 
bravery; received numerous certificates from the 
French people setting forth their high appreciation 
for their excellent behavior; received numerous 
individual citations for conspicuous and merito- 
rious conduct, and returned with a full quota of 
colored officers with the exception of a colonel, 
one captain, and one 2nd lieutenant. 



When the regiment embarked for France, the 
following named were the field officers: Col. 
Franklin A. Denison, Lieut. Col. Otis B. Duncan, 
Major Rufus M. Stokes, Major Charles L. Hunt, 
Major Arthur B. Williams, the Regimental Adju- 
tant being Capt. John H. Patton. After being in 
France for a period of three months and a few 
days, Colonel Denison, because of illness, was re- 
placed by Col. T. A. Roberts, who became the only 
white officer in the regiment. Later Capt. John T. 
Prout, and 2nd Lieutenant Stapleton were added, 
making a total of three white officers. This left 
Lieutenant Colonel Duncan, of Springfield, 111., the 
highest ranking colored officer overseas. The 
record of this regiment should forever silence the 
contention made by so many, that colored men have 
not the ability to be officers, and that at any rate, 
colored soldiers will not follow the leadership of 
officers of their own race. 

The regiment was called into service on July 
25, 1917, and the following October entrained for 
Houston, Texas, where they spent the winter in 
training, and where they conducted themselves with 
such admirable decorum, that even that hostile city 
commended and applauded them vigorously when 
they departed on March 6, 1918, for Newport 
News, from which city they were to take transport 
for France. 

They landed at Brest on April 6, 1918, and 
after spending three days at Camp Pontanezen, 
took train and went to the town of Grand Villars. 
Here they were attached to the 73rd French Divi- 



sion, were reorganized according to the French 
regulations, and in fact became French soldiers in 
every respect except their uniforms; they were even 
furnished with French food, and chefs to teach 
them how to prepare it most economically. They 
were given six weeks intensive training, and were 
allowed to mingle freely at all times with the 
French troops, in order that they might profit by 
close contact with veteran warriors. A new equal- 
ity was tasted at; this time by these American 
colored men; they were treated upon an absolutely 
equal basis with other men, while their officers 
moved with perfect ease among the highest officials 
of the French Army; they were received with all 
social and military courtesy due their rank. 

After iheir period of training, they were moved 
by easy stages towards the front, and on June 21 
began occupying positions in the St. Mihiel Sector, 
where there was desultory machine gun and rifle 
firing; by July 6 they had been moved by train 
and placed immediately behind the lines in the 
Argonne Forest; here they remained six weeks, 
and were then assigned to be one of the three in- 
fantry regiments of the 59th French Division, which 
had had its ranks largely depleted by the battles of 
Chavigny, Leury, and the Bois de Beaumont. 

On September 15, 1918, the regiment was 
ordered to the region of St. Bandry (Meuse) . Four 
companies took position opposite Mont de Singnes, 
and an attack was ordered which lasted five days 
(September 16-21); during this time both officers 
and men had a chance to distinguish themselves, 

6 79 


and a number were awarded decorations for meri- 
torious and gallant conduct. Perhaps the most 
noteworthy of these was Sergt. Matthew Jenkins, 
who captured a large section of the enemy works, 
with only a platoon of men at his command. He 
advanced so far ahead of the units on his right 
and left that he was cut off from supplies, and he 
and his men went without food for two days; they 
turned their captured ammunition and machine 
guns upon the enemy, and held the positions until 
reinforcements could reach them. For this act of 
heroism, Sergeant Jenkins was awarded the French 
Croix de Guerre and the American Distinguished 
Service Cross. 

On September 26, 1918, the regiment for the 
first time took over a full regimental sector, Colonel 
Roberts locating his commanding post at Antioch 
Farm. From this date until the enemy began its 
retreat on October 12, the organization was con- 
stantly under fire from enemy equipment located in 
the Bois de Mortier, a dense wood. 

Perhaps the most important engagement was 
that which occurred at Ferme de La Riviere. Here 
on September 30, Lieut. Col. Duncan's battalion 
was ordered to make an attack which necessitated 
an advance across open fields. While preparations 
were going on enemy aviators discovered their 
position, and a terrific bombardment was at once 
started, incapacitating three company commanders, 
three lieutenants, and completely demoralizing the 
company. Lieut. George M. Murphy was ordered 
to detail a man to gather up the scattered frag- 



ments of the organization. Realizing the impor- 
tance of the mission, the lieutenant himself volun- 
teered, and though under continuous shell fire was 
able to locate and reorganize the company. For this 
action Lieutenant Murphy was cited for especially 
conspicuous and meritorious conduct. 

The attack which Lieutenant Colonel Duncan 
was ordered to make was prosecuted vigorously, 
despite the bombardment of enemy aviators, and 
by October 4, one of the strongest points in the 
Hindenburg Line had been taken. 

On October 4, 1918, a patrol of one officer and 
twenty men was called for, to penetrate into the Bois 
de Mortier, in order to ascertain the strength of the 
enemy. Capt. Chester Saunders, and the desired 
number of men immediately responded, and at 
3.30 o'clock in the morning started on the mission. 
They were within fifty yards of the enemy before 
they were discovered. Fire from all sides was 
immediately opened upon them, but Captain 
Saunders, with remarkable self-possession, made 
notation of the nests of machine guns, and returned 
to his organization just before daylight, without the 
loss of a man. Captain Saunders was awarded the 
Croix de Guerre, and the patrol was highly com- 
mended by the commanding officer for their heroic 

On October 12, 1918, the entire division was 
ordered to advance, and the Battalion under Cap- 
tain Patton took up the pursuit by way of the Bois 
de Oiry. This wood had just been evacuated by 
the Germans, and to show that they were expecting 



to be followed up closely by the allied troops, they 
left everything in readiness for them. Tools valu- 
able for wire cutting, and other devices so neces- 
sary in modern warfare, were left in easy reach, 
but no sooner would they be picked up than there 
would be an explosion. All writing conveniences 
were left ready for immediate use, but every pen- 
holder was a messenger of death. Beds would be 
so inviting to the tired and footsore soldier, but 
the sdieets held deadly chemicals, which lulled 
him into an endless sleep. These are examples 
which show the wicked ingenuity of the German. 
Captain Patton, for making this exceedingly diffi- 
cult advance through this maze of trickery, was 
commended by the commanding officer, as was 
Major Stokes, who was successful in clearing the 
Bois de Mortier, a very important enemy strong- 

On October 27, 1918, after a rest period which 
was spent in building roads, the regiment was again 
ordered into the lines. They moved up into the 
vicinity of Grandlup, where they were subjected to 
severe shelling, and in some places machine-gun 
and rifle firing. Company A, stationed in the vicin- 
ity of Chantrud Farm, suffered a loss of 35 killed 
and 50 wounded as a result of a shell falling in 
their midst while at mess. 

On November 5, 1918, a general advance was 
ordered, which was continued in hot pursuit of the 
enemy until the Armistice was signed on Novem- 
ber 11, 1918. Company C, of Prout's Battalion, 
under command of Capt. James H. Smith, was 



awarded the Croix de Guerre and palm, the high- 
est citation awarded in the regiment. This was 
given for the attacking and occupying of St. Pierre- 
mont, the crossing of the River Sierre, and the 
taking of three pieces of enemy artillery and several 
machine guns, despite strong resistance from the 

For attacking and taking the town of Lorgny, 
from which point the French commander and his 
troops were being severely shelled, Lieut. Osceola 
A. Browning, commander of Company M, and a 
number of others, received the French Croix de 
Guerre, and the American Distinguished Service 

On November 11, just before the signing of 
the Armistice, an enemy combat train of about 
fifty vehicles was captured, thus completing a 
record of continuous, difficult and vigorous war- 
fare, every inch of the way from Antioch Farm, 
near the ruins of Vauxillion, to the Belgian border; 
Lieutenant Colonel Duncan won the name of the 
lieutenant colonel who would not stop fighting, 
because he led his troops into the Belgian Village 
of Gue D'Hossus, before he could be reached with 
the message that the Armistice had become effective. 

The 370th Infantry carried with it a full staff 
of colored medical officers, composed of Major 
James R. White, in command, Captains Leonard W. 
Lewis, and Spencer Dickinson, and Lieutenants 
James F. Lawson, Dan M. Moore, Rufus Bacote, 
George W. Antoine, Claudius Ballard, and two 
dentists, Lieutenants Tancil and Roe. 



With careful elimination of all soldiers who were 
not physically fit, the organization entered the ser- 
vice in excellent condition. During the winter of 
1917 and 1918, much time was given by the medi- 
cal department to the delivering of lectures, and a 
systematic course of training for the development 
of healthy and robust physiques was inaugurated. 
The result of this careful training was that only 
six men died of disease during the ten months in 
France, notwithstanding the fact that they suffered 
as many hardships and inconveniences as any other 
troops in the conflict. The medical detachment was 
composed also of 23 men, who were ever on the 
alert to give first aid to the wounded; because of 
this prompt attention on the battlefield there were 
only 96 out of the entire regiment who lost their 
lives. This, in addition to 425 who recovered 
from wounds, represents the entire list of casualties 
of the organization. 

Major White was awarded the Croix de Guerre. 
In the words of the citation, "he visited daily the 
aid stations in the advanced area, and himself 
dressed many of the fallen men, thus giving to 
his subordinates the most noble example." 

All told there were 33 officers and 57 men of 
this regiment who were awarded the Croix de 
Guerre, the Distinguished Service Cross, or both. 
Among the officers were Col. T. A. Roberts, Lieut. 
Col. Otis B. Duncan, Maj. James R. White, Cap- 
tains Smith, Patton, Prout, Gwynne, Warner, Allen, 
Hall, Alexander, Jackson, Crawford, and Saun- 
ders; First Lieutenants Tancil, Browning, Lacey, 



1. Capt. James H. Smith. 2. Lieut. Elaine G. Alston. 3. Lieut. 

George H. Murphy. 4. Capt. John H. Patton. 5. Lieut. William 

Andrews. 6. Lieut. A. Hugo Williams. 7. Lieut. George F. Proctor. 

8. Lieut. Osceola A. Browning. 


Robinson, Ballard, Jackson, Warfield, Gordon, 
Kurd, Shelton and Lee; and Second Lieutenants 
Cheatham, Norvell, Tisdell, Painter, Price, Reid, 
and Jackson. 

The colored soldiers were greatly loved by the 
French people, and while passing through the town 
of Laon, which had been in the hands of the Ger- 
mans for four years, the French civilians knelt by 
the roadside and kissed the hands of the boys of 
the 370th Infantry, so grateful were they for their 

From the mayors of every village and town 
where the organization had any contact with the 
French people, they received testimonials setting 
forth their good behavior and splendid decorum; 
similar letters were secured with regard to our 
soldiers in nearly every section of France, and very 
frequently the writer was personally told that they 
were better behaved than the white soldiers; espe- 
cially was this true in the Leave Area, where all 
army restrictions were removed; the absolute in- 
crease of disease among all of the colored troops 
was only 7 per cent., according to statistics from the 
surgeon general's office, while among the white 
troops it was 88 per cent.; this in spite of the fact 
that a much larger per cent, of them were physically 
unfit when they entered the army; in the first draft 
36 colored soldiers out of every hundred men were 
admitted, while there were only 24 out of every 
hundred white; this shows that there was more 
care exercised in getting in white men who were 
physically sound than there was for the colored. 



In the entire 92nd Division only one soldier was 
convicted of criminal assault; in fact the colored 
soldiers in all the organizations made such a splen- 
did impression upon the French people that a 
recent issue of a widely published Paris paper 
asked that two million return to France, in order 
that they might assist them in building up their 
devastated regions, and become a part of their 
future civilization. 

The following farewell address speaks for itself 
with regard to splendid achievements of the 370th 
Infantry, and the high esteem in which they were 


"You are leaving us. The impossibility at this time 
that the German Army can recover from its defeat the 
necessity which is imposed upon the peoples of the En- 
tente of taking up again the normal life leads the United 
States to diminish its effectives in France. You are 
chosen among the first to return to America. In the 
name of your comrades of the 59th Division, I say to 
you, Au revoir in the name of France, thank you. 

"The hard and brilliant battles of Chavigny, Leury, 
and the Bois de Beaumont, having reduced the effective- 
ness of the Division, the American Government gen- 
erously put your regiment at the disposition of the 
French High Command to re-enforce us. You arrived 
from the trenches of the Argonne. 

"We at first in September, at Mareuil-sur-Ourq, ad- 
mired your fine appearance under arms, the precision 
of your review, the suppleness of your evolutions that 
presented to the eye, the appearance of silk unrolling its 
wavy folds. 



"We advanced to the line. Fate placed you on the 
banks of the Ailette, in front of the Bois de Mortier. 
October 12th you occupied the enemy trenches Acier and 
Brouze. On the 13th, we reached the railroad of Laon- 
La-Fere the Forest of St. Gobain, principal center of 
resistance of the Hindenburg Line, was ours. 

"November 5th, the Sierre was at last crossed, the 
pursuit became active. Prout's Battalion distinguished 
itself at Sal St. Pierre, where it captured a German bat- 
tery. Patton's Battalion crossed, the first, the Hirson 
Railroad at the Heights of Aubenton, where the Germans 
tried to resist. Duncan's Battalion took Lorgny, and 
carried away with their ardor, could not be stopped short 
of Gue d'Hossus, on November llth, after the Armistice. 

"We have hardly had time to appreciate you, and 
already you depart. 

"As Lieutenant Colonel Duncan said, November 28th, 
in offering to me your regimental colors as proof of your 
love for France, as an expression of your loyalty to the 
59th Division of our Army, you have given us your best, 
and you have given out of the fulness of your hearts. 

"The blood of your comrades who fell on the soil of 
France mixed with the blood of our soldiers, renders 
indissoluble the bonds of affection that unite us. We 
have besides, the pride of having worked together at a 
magnificent task, the pride of bearing on our foreheads 
the ray of common grandeur. 

"A last time Au revoir. 

"All of us of the 59th Division will always remember 
the time when the 370th R. I. U. S., under the orders 
of the distinguished Colonel Roberts, formed a part of 
our beautiful Division." 

Commanding the 59th Division. 

( Signed ) VINCENDON. 



The 371st and 372nd Regiments of Infantry 
were composed of drafted troops and National 
Guard Organizations. Those of the former came 
in a large measure from South Carolina, and were 
trained at Camp Jackson in that State; while the 
latter organization was composed of the first sepa- 
rate battalion of Washington, D. C., Company L, 
of the Massachusetts N. G., the first separate com- 
pany of the Connecticut State Guard, the 9th sepa- 
rate battalion of Ohio, and other National Guard 
troops from Tennessee and Maryland. 

The 371st had a full quota of white commis- 
sioned officers, and colored non-commissioned 
officers, while the 372nd had a mixture of white 
and colored commissioned officers, with colored 
non-commissioned officers. After some heroic ser- 
vice on the battlefields of France, the colored com- 
missioned officers became victims of the efficiency 
board, and at one fell swoop, were nearly all 

These two regiments saw service together in 
France, and became noted for their indomitable 
courage, and splendid fighting record. 

On April 6, 1918, the 371st Infantry left our 
ports, and by April 26 was in the training area 
at Rembercourt-aux-Port, as an independent unit 
of the 13th French Army Corps. Afterwards they 
became a supporting regiment to the 68th French 
Division, where they remained until July 22, 1918. 
Between this date and September 14, 1918, they 


occupied the Verrieres sub-sector. Here the regi- 
ment did exceptional work, their front extending 
over a distance of more than five kilometers, always 
holding their own ground and at one time half of 
the front of the 333rd French Infantry on the left. 
On September 14 the regiment was withdrawn 
from this sector and taken to the area of Holitz- 
1'Eveque, Champagne, and were in reserve of the 
9th Army Corps of the 4th French Army, at the 
beginning of the great Champagne Offensive. 
During this great offensive the regiment suffered 
tremendous losses under the blistering fire and 
onslaught of the enemy, always carrying the attack 
forward in advance of the adjacent troops. Their 
Division Commander in forwarding a recommenda- 
tion for an army citation for the regiment, re- 
marked that they marched forward under heavy 
artillery fire, without faltering, and without count- 
ing their dead. Following is text of citation: 

October 8th, 1918. 

From: Colonel Quillet, commanding the I. D. 
To: Colonel of the 371st U. S. 

The Colonel commanding the I. D. has proposed your 
regiment for a citation to the Army Corps with the fol- 
lowing motive. 

"Has shown during its first engagement the very best 
qualities of bravery and audacity, which are the char- 
acteristics of shock troops. 

"Under the command of Colonel Miles, it launched 
itself with a superb spirit and admirable disregard of 



danger at the assault of a position stubbornly defended 
by the enemy. It took by terrific fighting under ex- 
ceptionally violent machine-gun fire of the enemy artil- 
lery, and its cruel losses, numerous prisoners, and secured 
cannon, machine guns and important material." 

(Signed) T. C. QUILLET, 
Commanding the I. D. 

The losses of the regiment during its period of 
service were 8 officers killed and died of wounds, 
42 wounded, and 1,055 enlisted men killed and 
wounded, with a total of 28 missing. 

The 372nd Infantry, was organized at Camp 
Stuart, and landed at St. Nazaire, April 14, 1918. 
They spent five weeks in training at Conde-en- 
Barrois, Meuse, as part of the 13th French Army 
Corps; afterwards became attached to the 63rd 
French Division, the 35th French Division, and 
finally on July 2, 1918, became a part of the 157th 
French Division, to which the 371st Infantry also 
became attached. 

For more than six months the regiment was on 
the front, taking part in the great Champagne 
Offensive, and in the battles which centered around 
Vanquois in the Argonne, and around Verdun, 
including Hill 304, and Dead Man's Hill. They 
were in the Vosges Mountains, along with the 
371st, training for the Metz Offensive when the 
Armistice was signed. 

On October 8, 1918, this regiment also received 
a citation from Colonel Quillet. Following is its 



No. 3500. October 8, 1918. 

From: Colonel Quillet, commanding 157th I. D. 
To: Colonel Tupes, commanding 372nd Infantry. 

The Colonel commanding the I. D., has recommended 
your regiment for citation in the orders of the French 
Army, worded as follows: 

"Gave proof, through the first engagement, of the finest 
qualities of bravery and daring which are the virtues of 
assaulting troops." 

"Under the orders of Colonel Tupes dashed with 
superb gallantry and admirable scorn of danger to the 
assault of a position continuously defended by the enemy, 
taking it by storm under an exceptionally violent machine- 
gun fire; continued the progression in spite of enemy 
artillery fire, and very severe losses. They made numer- 
ous prisoners, captured cannon, machine guns, and im- 
portant war materials." 

(Signed) QUILLET. 

Upon relinquishing his command of these two 
regiments after the signing of the Armistice, 
Colonel Quillet gave out the following words of 
farewell : 


December 15, 1918. 
Order of the Divisional Infantry. 

The 371st and 372nd Infantries are leaving France, 
after having carried on a hard campaign of six months 
with I. D., 157. 

After having energetically held a series of difficult 
sectors, they took a glorious part in the great decisive 
battle which brought the final victory. 



In sectors they have shown an endurance, a vigilance, 
a spirit of devotion and remarkable discipline. 

In battle they have taken by storm, with a magnificent 
animation, very strong positions doggedly defended by 
the enemy. 

In contemplating the departure of these two fine 
regiments which I commanded with pride, I desire to 
tell them all how much I think of them for the generous 
and precious concurrence which they brought to us at 
the decisive period of the war. 

I shall keep them always in my soldier heart, their 
loyal memories, and particularly those of their distin- 
guished commanders who have become my friends. 

Commanding the I. D., 157. 

About the same time the above was issued, 
General Goybet, Commanding Officer of the 157th 
French Division, sent out the following General 


On the 12th of December, 1918, the 371st and 372nd 
R. I. U. S. have been placed at the disposal of the 
American High Command. 

With a deep feeling of emotion, on behalf of the 157th 
Division, and in my own personal name, I come to bid 
farewell to our brave comrades. 

For seven months we have lived brothers in arms, 
partaking in the same activities, sharing the same hard- 
ships and the same dangers. Side by side we took part 
in the great Champagne Offensive which was to be 
crowned by a tremendous victory. 

Never will the 157th Division forget the indomitable 
dash, the heroical rush of the American regiments up 
the Observatory Ridge and into the Plain of Monthois. 



The most powerful defenses, the most strongly organized 
machine-gun nests, the heaviest artillery barrages noth- 
ing could stop them. These crack regiments overcame 
every obstacle with a most complete contempt for danger; 
through their steady devotion the Red Hand Division, 
for nine whole days of severe struggle, was constantly 
leading the way of the advance of the Fourth Army. 

Officers, non-commissioned officers and men, I respect- 
fully salute our glorious 1 comrades who have fallen, and 
I bow to your colors, side by side with the flag of the 
333rd Regiment of Infantry that have shown us the way 
to victory. 

Dear Friends from America, when you will be back 
again on the other side of the ocean, don't forget the 
Red Hand Division; our brotherhood has been cemented 
in the blood of the brave, and such bonds will never be 

Remember your General, who is so glad of having 
commanded you, and be sure of his grateful affection 
to you forever. 

Commanding the 157th Division. 

On January 24, 1919, for taking strategic town 
in Champagne Offensive the 372nd Infantry was 
cited with the Croix de Guerre and palm, the 
highest honor of the kind in the gift of the French 
Army. It was the first entire organization of the 
American Expeditionary Forces to be thus cited. 3 
It was received at the hands of Vice-Admiral 
Moreau, French Commander of the Port of Brest, 
and the ceremony took place at Cours Dajot, over- 
looking the Port of Commerce of that city. 

In a word of conclusion with regard to the 
entire record of the combatant troops, many of 



whom went overseas with hesitations and misgiv- 
ings because of the great battle they had already 
been compelled to fight against the ill-will of their 
own countrymen, it seems that their wonderful 
achievements in the face of a propaganda that 
continued even across the seas, make them fully 
worthy of the beautiful tribute paid them in the 
following poem by Roscoe C. Jamison:* 

"These truly are the Brave, 

These men who cast aside 

Old memories, to walk the blood-stained pave 

Of sacrifice, joining the solemn tide 

That moves away, to suffer and to die 

For freedom, when their own is yet denied! 

Pride! Prejudice! When they pass by, 

Hail them, the Brave, for you now crucified! 

These truly are the Free, 
These souls that grandly rise 
Above base dreams of vengeance for their wrongs, 
Who march to war with visions in their eyes 
Of peace through Brotherhood, lifting glad songs 
Aforetime, while they front the firing line. 
Stand and behold! They take the field to-day, 
Shedding their blood like Him now held divine, 
That those who mock might find a better way!" 

* By permission of The Crisis. 


1. Officers engaged in automatic rifle practice. 2. Sergeant Charles 
T. Monroe, a winner of the Croix de Guerre and Distinguished 
Service Cross. 3. Group of Officers of 372nd Infantry and French 
Associates. 4. At the mouth of a dugout. 5. Sergeants Ray Wil- 
liams and Wadley Ellis receiving wireless messages from Eiffel 
Tower. 6. French Officer giving instructions in machine-gun tactics. 
7. Two comrades of the famous "Red Hand Division." 

If the muse were mine to tempt it 
And my feeble voice were strong, 
If my tongue were trained to measure 
I would sing a stirring song. 
I would sing a song heroic 
Of those noble sons of Ham 
Of the gallant colored soldiers 
Who fought for Uncle Sam. 


Non-Combatant Troops 

THERE was little difference in the spirit of those 
who went to France as welfare workers and 
those who went as soldiers. Both felt the urge of 
the hour both desired to be stationed where they 
could give most serve most. Hence it was not 
strange that we reached the Y headquarters in 
Paris hoping to be forwarded to some one of the 
fighting units, and that during the ten days of 
preparation for the camp, we were looking wish- 
fully toward the front. Indeed, one of us had 
come from Illinois, and had already been adopted 
as the daughter of the 370th Regiment. The other 
had come from the Metropolis, and somehow felt 
the whole responsibility for the welfare of the 
"Fifteenth New York" and the "Buffaloes" resting 
upon her weak shoulders. It is easy then to im- 
agine our disappointment when we were assigned 
to the S. 0. S., or Service of Supplies Sector. It 
was just at this point we found it necessary as 
members of the American Expeditionary Forces 
to learn one of the most important lessons of the 
army that of obedience. 

But it was a most kind Providence that sent us 
away from the scenes of devastation and death for 
our first service, and placed us where we could 
come into a comprehensive knowledge and appre- 
ciation of our non-combatant forces. Seven months 
of continuous service and daily contact in the 
camp with these men warrant our writing with 




assurance certain definite impressions left upon 
our minds by them. We take it that the 20,000 
soldiers whom we served, those visited at Brest and 
other S. 0. S. points and those who rested with us 
in the Leave Area from Bordeaux, Marseilles, and 
other camps were typical of the one hundred thou- 
sand or so men who formed the non-combatant 

These men were known chiefly as stevedores and 
labor battalions. Somehow a widely circulated 
report gained credence that they had been 
gathered indiscriminately, and had been landed on 
foreign soil, a mere group of servants for the 
white soldiers. We do not know who first sought 
to thus humiliate these soldiers by such unjust 
and undeserved rating. One might easily believe, 
of course, because of the constantly unfair attitude 
of some of their officers toward them, that there was 
some such assumption to that effect. But the world 
has learned now, that in spite of all handicaps, there 
could be found nowhere in the army stouter and 
braver hearts, or more loyal and self-sacrificing 
spirits. Subjected to a stern discipline; with dis- 
criminations, cruel in their intent and execution; 
long hours of toil; scant recognition for service 
or hope of promotion, they still kept their faith. 
Throughout the war they wrought as weavers who 
are given to see only the wrong side of the glorious 
pattern they are weaving. Indeed, through these 
men we came into an abiding belief that the colored 
man was in the war to justify his plea for democ- 



racy. The first day we entered that busy military 
port of St. Nazaire, we saw a colored lad standing 
under the ancient clock in the center of the square. 
He had M. P. (military police) on his arm band 
in large red letters, and in his hand a stick with 
which he quietly directed the tremendous traffic 
of that town. Auto-trucks, auto-cars of officers 
from the highest to the lowest rank, auto-busses for 
welfare workers, sidecars, bicycles, used so con- 
stantly by French women as well as men, and the 
typical French voiture made a constant noisy 
stream. And this colored lad, who had come from 
a rural district of the far South, stood there calmly 
pointing his stick, now left, now right, or holding 
it up in demand for a pause. Surely he was there 
by Divine Thought. 

^/^he very first group of colored soldiers to leave 
for France in the autumn of 1917 were stevedores 
and labor battalions. Another group reached 
St. Nazaire, by way of Brest, Christmas eve of the 
same year. Time and time again in camp they told 
us the story of that first winter of hardship. Christ- 
mas day found them cold and cheerless, with hard 
tacks and beans for their rations. All that winter 
they worked, poorly equipped for their severe task. 
In the dark hours of the night and the morning, 
they plunged through the deep mud of the camp 
and city, without boots. On the dock they handled 
the cold steel and iron without gloves. But they 
were soldiers, and so they worked without com- 



When the first American Forces reached the 
Continent, the French were calling loudly for help. 
All seemed chaos for a little, as thousands of troops 
began to reconstruct the ports of France. These 
quiet ports, many of them centuries gray, became 
centers of throbbing activity. Hundreds of ware- 
houses, most modern in their construction, rose as 
if by magic. From the south where Marseilles 
looks out on the blue Mediterranean, to Brest at 
the entrance to the English Channel, our own steve- 
dores, labor battalions and engineers, have rebuilt 
much of the water front of France, thus making a 
real epoch in the history of French navigation. 
During the last year of the war, these thousands of 
men were at work in the S. 0. S., connecting it 
with the great battle front. System and efficiency, 
with the greatest possible haste, were required in 
speeding the supplies to combatant troops. All of 
this these soldiers comprehended and ever they re- 
sponded with a decisive and soldier-like spirit. 
The incessant tramp of many feet through the city 
street, the constant rush and rumble of auto- 
trucks kept the camps of these ports closely linked 
with the docks. 

All who were at work in France well remember 
that "Race to Berlin" contest, upon which the last 
great forward move of our troops so largely de- 
pended. The world looked not only toward Metz 
where our great combat army was centering, but 
just as often, anxious eyes were upon the rear where 
our men were toiling like mad that peace should 



not be delayed through any failure of theirs. With 
feverish haste and anxiety they battled with great 
bulks of ammunition and supplies. For weeks at 
Marseilles, Bordeaux, St. Nazaire, Brest and other 
ports they worked with almost superhuman 
strength. Those serving these men during this con- 
test labored with the same feverish spirit that 
possessed the men themselves. How they tried to 
cheer, encourage, and entertain our determined 
heroes as they contested for the honors! If by 
chance you see somewhere a soldier wearing the 
emblem of the S. 0. S., with an arrow running 
through it and pointing skyward, you will know that 
he belongs to those service battalions at Brest who 
by their inexhaustible reserves of energy and en- 
durance, won in the "Race to Berlin." 

Although these men were not called upon to face 
the shot and shell at the front, they paid their toll 
in death from accident, cold and exposure. No 
more at the rear than at the front did they pause 
to consider personal danger. They were truly 
heroes, carrying not bayonet and gun, but connect- 
ing the wonderful resources of their own country, 
three thousand miles away, with the greatest battle- 
fields the world has ever known. 

There went to rest in the land of light and peace 
a short time ago, one of the world's poets whose 
divinest gift was her great human understanding 
and sympathy. Long and well did Ella Wheeler 
Wilcox write to lift the souls of men from the 
sordid things of earth to the purer realms of sym- 
pathetic knowledge and co-operation. She was 



given entre to the heart of the war, and saw the 
grim conflict in all its various settings. Riding 
along the coast one day, looking out upon the long 
lines of warehouses, hearing the hum of the thou- 
sands of men at work, she said: "I have gained 
with the years a growing appreciation and love for 
the colored people, and I have seen nothing in 
France finer than the work of the stevedores. I 
have written and dedicated a poem to them." That 
afternoon, after she had spoken for a few minutes 
to the thousands of swarthy soldiers, assembled to 
pay her homage, her companion read the poem 
as follows: 

"We are the army stevedores, lusty and virile and strong. 
We are given the hardest work of the war and the hours 

are long. 

We handle the heavy boxes and shovel the dirty coal ; 
While soldiers and sailors work in the light, we burrow 

below in the hole. 
But somebody has to do this work, or the soldiers could 

not fight 
And whatever work is given a man, is good if he does 

it right. 

We are the army stevedores, and we are volunteers. 

We did not wait for the draft to come, to put aside our 

We flung them away on the wings of fate, at the very 

first call of our land, 
And each of us offered a willing heart, and the strength 

of a brawny hand. 

We are the army stevedores' and work as we must and may. 
The cross of honor will never be ours to proudly wear 




But the men at the Front could not be there, 

And the battles could not be won 

If the stevedores stopped in their dull routine, 

And left their work undone. 

Somebody has to do this work, be glad that it isn't you, 

We are the army stevedores give us our due!" 

But this wonderfully revealing poem goes hardly 
far enough to give full appreciation of the whole 
life of the colored stevedore in France. So often in 
addition to this "hardest work of the war," was 
added treatment accorded no other soldier. While 
white American soldiers were permitted to go 
freely about the towns, the great mass of colored 
American soldiers saw them for the most part, as 
they marched in line to and from the docks. Passes 
for them were oftener than otherwise as hard to 
secure as American gold. Always they were aware 
of some case of cruel injustice for which there 
seemed absolutely no redress. We found in our 
camp a young college student, who, believing that 
war spelled opportunity, was among the first to 
enlist. His education placed him at once in the 
office of his company, and he went to France a 
sergeant. He did not find that war meant for him 
what he had dreamed it would, but he kept loyal; 
his work commanded respect, and, for a time, all 
went well. But a company commander came who 
resented the pride of the colored boy, and then 
began a series of humiliations that took away rank, 
sent him to the guard-house and dock. Retribution 
is rather swift at times, and so this officer's down- 
fall came soon. He never knew, however, that 




the fond mother back home was the only thing that 
stood between him and death. The young man has 
since told us how happy he was to return home with 
his honor maintained, rank restored. But in camp 
his face hurt us as often as we looked upon it, so full 
it was of the endurance of an outraged manhood. 

Even a short outing might be robbed of its pleas- 
ure. For how well we remember a company that 
had been granted a week-end leave as a reward for 
exceptional work. They were going to a neighbor- 
ing summer resort a miniature Coney Island. It 
had been arranged for them to tent on the beach. 
Just like children, they made us listen to all their 
enthusiastic plans and dreams of this outing. They 
went, but came back dumb in the despair of out- 
raged truth and justice. A runner had preceded 
them, and the French restaurants and places of 
amusement had been warned not to receive them, 
since they were but servants of the white soldiers. 
Later the French knew better, but at that time it 
required more time and spirit than this company 
had, to convince the French people of the injustice 
of it all. 

Always there was the knowledge that for them, 
loyalty, devotion, and energy, led to no higher rank, 
no possibility of promotion. True, orders were 
often issued that for the moment, seemed to include 
the colored soldier in their opportunity for ad- 
vancement, but just as soon as he attempted to 
make himself a part of these orders, some subter- 
fuge would be used to deny him the privilege of 
the army of which he was a part. Well for the 



colored soldier in France, well for all, that he pos- 
sessed the far-visioned faith and the endurance of 
his fathers! 

Another misleading idea relative to the non- 
combatant organizations was to the effect that they 
were totally illiterate. While the percentage of 
illiteracy was high, on the other hand hundreds of 
men were of fair intelligence, while other hundreds 
had been given fine educational advantages. Not 
only could there be found large numbers of stu- 
dents and graduates of our colored schools, but 
there were many from the largest and best known 
universities and colleges of the United States. It 
was not unusual to have a man in fatigue uniform, 
as his working clothes were called, volunteer for 
some needed educational work, modestly announc- 
ing himself a graduate of Dartmouth, Iowa, Yale, 
or some other large university or college. Two of 
the best-trained physical directors of our race were 
discovered over there doing their "bit" one as a 
stevedore on the dock, the other busily cutting wood 
with an isolated labor battalion. For every variety 
of profession or trade there was a representative. 
One had but to require the service of a stenogra- 
pher, dentist, doctor, lawyer, electrician, plumber, 
draughtsman, pianist, illustrator, or what not, to 
find him at hand. Once in the palmy days of Camp 
One, St. Nazaire, an educational exhibit was held 
in the Y Hut and it was far more interesting, 
varied, and unique, than any one school could have 
possibly produced. 



Labor battalions were to be found not only at 
the ports of France, but more than any other class 
of soldiers, they were spread over all France. 
Whether near the Belgian or Swiss border, or in 
"No Man's Land," one would be sure to find these 
indispensable troops. Oftener than otherwise these 
battalions would be split, and a company or two 
would be at Verdun or some other important center, 
while another company would be found in some 
woods cutting trees. The 608th Labor Battalion 
was the only organization regularly stationed at 
St. Nazaire, that had its own colored Sergeant- 
Major. So clean cut, intelligent and forceful was 
Sergeant Major Thomas, that he might have been 
a Major quite as well. His men were much like 
their leader, and we found it not only a pleasure 
but comfort to count them among "our boys." 

At Romagne we worked side by side with the 
332nd and 349th Labor Battalions. There with the 
Pioneer Infantries, they were grimly fighting 
through to the end. To the Leave Area came these 
men of the labor units in large numbers, and we 
have many pictures of them and with them. We 
have, better still, recollections of their faces, 
earnest and often sad their eyes aglow as they 
related the story of their adventure in France. 
Always they had suffered but always they knew 

"That Freedom's battle once begun 
Bequeathed from bleeding sire to son 
Though baffled oft is ever won." 



Hundreds of men among these non-combatant 
troops were so thoroughly fine that to mention a 
few of them in a special way seems hardly worth 
while, except as they represent types. We think 
of Charles Wright from Ann Arbor, Michigan, who 
not only performed his office work with thorough- 
ness, but who, through all the long months, first at 
St. Nazaire, and later at Camp Montoir, gave him- 
self with deep earnestness as a volunteer teacher 
for his less fortunate mates. Many others gave 
help in much the same manner for the educational, 
religious, and athletic activities, or for library or 
canteen service. There were Charles Wilkinson of 
the Medical Corps, Sergeants Farrell, Dunn, Jones, 
Ward, Armstrong and Tapscott, Corporal Henry 
Smith, Electrician Powell, all so faithful as to seem 
a part of the regular staff of Y workers. 

There was one special group within this group 
for whom we had great sympathy and deep respect. 
They were the regular army men, who had seen 
real fighting, who were still in their prime, and 
longing for the opportunity to go "over the top." 
There were men who had seen service in Russia, 
the Philippines, Hawaii, heroes of the Spanish 
American War; men who had known the hideous- 
ness of Carrizal, all kept in the S. 0. S. But they 
were soldiers and they knew how to hold their 
peace and obey. One had to but look at men 
like Sergeants Blue, Banks, Clark and Dogan, to 
know that even without the bars on shoulders, they 
were finer soldiers than many who wore them. 


1. "A Canteen Man." 2. An Old Soldier Sergeant Banks, 10th U. S. C. 

3. Playing Ball at Camp No. 1, St. Nazaire. 4. Our Military Policeman. 

5. An Electrician. 


These non-combatant troops challenged the very 
best in those welfare workers who could appreciate 
the tremendous undercurrent of their lives and 
their rigid determination to be loyal to the country 
they served. Always during our days and nights 
with them, the urge and desire to serve was so 
keen as to make us forget the loss and strain of 
physical strength. Our greatest effort was centered 
in keeping constantly before them this truth so 
beautifully expressed by James Weldon Johnson: 

"That banner which is now the type 

Of victory on field and flood, 
Remember its first crimson stripe 

Was dyed by Attack's 1 willing blood. 

And never yet has come the cry, 
When this fair flag had been assailed 

For men to do, for men to die, 

That we have faltered or have failed. 

We've helped to bear it rent and torn, 

Through many a hot-breathed battle breeze; 

Held in our hands, it has been borne 
And planted far across the seas. 

Then should we speak but servile words', 
Or shall we hang our heads in shame? 

Stand back of new-come foreign hordes, 
And fear our heritage to claim? 

No! stand erect and without fear, 

And for our foes let this suffice, 
We've brought a rightful sonship here, 

And we have more than paid the price." 




No group of men had a deeper baptism of pain 
and loneliness in France than the Corps of 
Engineers. Although classed as non-combatant 
troops, they might, in an emergency, as at Chateau 
Thierry, become combatant. There, in the crisis of 
a struggle, they dealt the German invaders the 
decisive blow that not only sent them reeling to 
defeat, but caused the world in general to attach a 
new importance and appreciation to the work of 
the engineer. 

The colored engineers, however, although some- 
times trained with arms in the United States were, 
for the most part, not permitted the use of them 
in France. A corporal of the 546th Engineers 
writes, "Although some of us worked quite close 
behind the lines, within range of shot and shell, 
we did not see arms except such as lay discarded 
about the woods and in the fields." 

There seems to have been little difference be- 
tween the work done in France by the colored 
Engineers and Pioneer Infantries. Both were 
largely engaged in road building and general con- 
struction. However, the non-commissioned officers 
of the Pioneers were largely, if not entirely, colored 
and in many regiments, they retained their arms, 
while the engineers were rarely accorded rank 
beyond that of corporal and, as previously stated, 
rarely carried arms. But the colored engineers 
were a part of that far-visioned phalanx of dark- 



skinned men who went to France to fulfil a trust 
and who remained true to the end. 

Their work, too, was lightened by their ability to 
sing in the midst of thunderous guns. Many of 
the war songs were made into parodies of the 
shovel which the engineer jokingly made his 
emblem. The following is a parody of the song, 

"S is for the soup they always give us 
H is for the ham we never get; 
O is for the onions in the gravy, 
V is for the victory we'll see yet. 
E is for the end of our enlistment, 
L is for the land we love so dear, 

Put them altogether, they spell SHOVEL 
The Emblem of the Engineer." 

Wherever troops were fighting, the engineers 
could be found hard by and their faithful and 
efficient service won for them praise. For instance, 
the 37th who served as a part of a French Corps 
and afterwards with the First American Army 
Corps was cited for the high efficiency of its work. 

The 546th spent many months in various parts 
of the forest of the Argonne and were also com- 
mended for their meritorious service; the same 
might be said of the 505th and many others. 



But viewing their record as a whole we might 
sum it up in the following lines of Paul Laurence 

Thou hast the right to noble pride 
Whose spotless robes were purified 
By blood's severe baptism. 
Upon thy brow the cross was laid, 
And labor's painful sweat beads made 
A consecrating chrism. 


An Engineers' Camp in France. Representatives of the Engineer Corps. 


There's music in the measured tread 
Of those returning from the dead 
Like scattered flowers from a plain 
So lately crimson, with the slain. 

No more the sound of shuffled feet 
Shall mark the poltroon on the street, 
Nor shifting, sodden, downcast eye, 
Reveal the man afraid to die. 

They shall have paid full, utterly 
The price of peace across the sea, 
When, with uplifted glance they come 
To claim a kindly welcome home. 

Nor shall the old-time daedal sting 
Of prejudice, their manhood wing, 
Nor heights, nor depths, nor living streams 
Stand in the pathway of their dreams! 



Pioneer Infantries 

OTEVEDORES, engineers, and labor battalions 
kJ had been rushed to France to blaze the trail for 
die American forces. Already the 15th New York, 
the 8th Illinois, 371st and 372nd Regiments had 
worked and fought their way to the thickest of the 
carnage. The 92nd Division was waiting for the 
final word that would carry them across. And yet 
the twelve million colored people of the United 
States had not fully answered the call. None, how- 
ever, were more willing to serve the country in 
its hour of peril. Therefore there was a ready 
response, when late in May of 1918, President 
Wilson called for the organization of colored 

The early history of these pioneer regiments 
was very similar. They were formed for the most 
part, out of provisional troops, a few men drawn 
from the regular army, and specialists from the 
various schools of Training Detachments. For 
instance, the 805th Pioneer Infantry Regiment was 
formed at Camp Funston, of provisional brigades; 
twenty-five men of the 25th Infantry, brought over 
from Hawaii; thirty-eight mechanics from Prairie 
View Normal School; twenty horseshoers and men 
skilled in the care of horses from Tuskegee Insti- 
tute, and eight carpenters from Howard University. 
The best evidence of the high character of the ser- 
vice in France rendered by this regiment is the 



January 16, 1919. 

From: Commanding Officer, 805th Pioneer Infantry. 
To: The Adjutant General, G. H. Q., A. E. F. 

Subject: Commendation of Regiment. 

1. I feel it a duty which I owe the officers and enlisted 
men of this regiment which the War Department has 
given me the honor of commanding, to place on record 
at General Headquarters, American Expeditionary Forces, 
the enclosed papers commending their conscientious and 
intelligent work. 

2. The first is a letter from the Chief Engineer, First 
Army, regarding the services rendered by the 805th Pio- 
neer Infantry in the Argonne-Meuse Campaign, which 
began September 26, 1918, in which this organization 
participated from October 3rd to the conclusion of the 
Armistice. The second is a letter from the Chief Salvage 
Officer, First Army, stating that the regiment "by its in- 
telligent co-operation and initiative" was of great assist- 
ance to him. 

3. I claim no credit for myself, but only for the officers 
and men to whose energy, judgment, tact and force of the 
highest grade, must be attributed any success this regi- 
ment may have attained. 

2 Encl. C. B. HUMPHREY, 

Colonel Infantry, U. S. A., Commanding. 




November 24, 1918. 
From: Chief Engineer, First Army. 

To: The Commanding Officer, 805th Pioneer In- 


Subject: Services rendered during offensive. 

1. The Chief Engineer desires to express his highest 
appreciation to you and to your regiment for the services 
rendered to the First Army in the Offensive between 
the Meuse and the Argonne, starting September 26th, 
and the continuation of that Offensive on November 1st 
and concluding with the Armistice of November llth. 

2. The success of the operations of the Army Engineer 
Troops toward constructing and maintaining supply 
lines, both roads and railway, of the Army, was in no 
small measure made possible by the excellent work per- 
formed by your troops. 

3. It is desired that the terms of this letter be published 
to all the officers and enlisted men of your command at the 
earliest opportunity. 

4. A copy of this letter has been sent to the Chief of 
Staff, First Army. 


Chief Engineer, First Army, 
American E. F. 





December 17, 1918. 
From: Chief Salvage Officer, First Army. 

To: Colonel C. B. Humphrey, Commanding Officer, 

805th Pioneer Infantry. 

Subject: Commendation. 

1. I wish to express my appreciation of the very ex- 
cellent work done by you and your command, while I had 
charge of the Salvage Operations in the Battle Area, First 

2. Your regiment by its intelligent co-operation and 
initiative has been of the greatest assistance in carrying 
on operations, conducted under very trying conditions. 

Lieutenant Colonel, Ord. Dept., 
Chief Salvage Officer. 


January 17, 1919. 

1. It is with pleasure that I publish herewith true 
copies of the foregoing letters for the information of 
this command. 

Colonel Infantry, U. S. A., 


Capt. Inf., U. S. A., Adjutant. 



The 805th had three men at the University of 
London during the educational period, Sergeant 
Major Marriott, and Sergeants Walter Powers and 
Leonard Barnett. This was another testimony to 
the worth of its personnel. 

The 806th formed at Camp Funston at about 
the same time as the 805th, and the 815th and 
816th, formed there later, were made up in much 
the same way. Twelve hundred enlisted men of 
158th Depot Brigade made the foundation of the 
802nd Pioneer Infantry, formed at Camp Sherman, 
while other groups from the regular army were 
disributed through the regiment. 

The outstanding characteristic of these regiments 
was their rapid mobilization and departure for 
France. Very brief, at best, was the training they 
received in the American camps. In some instances 
it was as highly intensive and thorough as time 
allowed. The great mass of these men had known 
absolutely nothing of military life six weeks, and, 
in some cases, three weeks, before taking transport 
for France. But they went as others had gone, 
resolute and firm in faith. As they sailed away, 
their folk knew that they had given the residue of 
their strong young manhood. The last hope of the 
colored Americans had been cheerfully placed 
upon the altar as their gift. It was their last grim 
insistence on the triumph of the Great Cause for 
which the race stood so desperately in need. 

A wonderful sight were those convoys with their 
mighty hosts, as they plowed their way across those 
three thousand miles of periled ocean! More 




wonderful if we can really realize that for them 
death was ever near, hiding its piratical and cruel 
head beneath the waves. Relative to a voyage 
across at that time we quote from the history of 
one of the regiments the following: 

"At least once daily, and often three times, the bugle 
sounded 'Boat Call' and thereupon everyone hurried to 
his assigned place. Fire drills often accompanied boat 

Each vessel bore a heavy gun astern and howitzers 
forward for firing depth bombs. Details were told off 
to help serve the guns. During the last four days out 
officers were posted alternately with enlisted men on 
submarine lookout posts, so that there were five officers, 
and five enlisted men continually on this duty in addi- 
tion to the regular guard. 

Portholes were closed at dusk throughout the entire 
voyage and no smoking outside was permitted after dark. 
Silence on deck after dark was also prescribed during 
the last four days. No bugle calls were permitted during 
foggy weather. 

Good ships had gone down in the same area and 
there were times when there was anxiety. Once a mine 
was sighted and passed at about sixty feet. The matter 
was flashed to the destroyers who went to the spot and 
dropped depth bombs. Two days out word was received 
that a submarine had been sighted by a destroyer dead 
ahead. At the same time the cruiser signalled and the 
whole convoy literally 'went by the left flank.' From 
that time on the course was changed every few minutes." 

So, not only that regiment but others crossed. 
And some others had far more exciting and hazard- 
ous times fighting those German sea monsters. On 
both sides of the Atlantic there was anxious wait- 
ing; and now and then it was useless waiting, for 



as these brave sons journeyed across, some found 
their graves in the deep gray fathomless deep. 
There white crosses and poppies may not be found, 
but resting in that mysterious sea world, new 
emblems of honor, beautiful and sparkling, will 
decorate them for all time. 

We were with the soldiers in France, cut off 
almost entirely from the outer world. One morn- 
ing the word was flashed through camp that a whole 
regiment of Pioneer Infantry had arrived. "What 
are Pioneer Infantries?" everyone asked. Many 
answers were volunteered but none very satisfac- 
tory. This ignorance was not altogether our own 
fault. We had heard no mention of pioneers in 
those first days of mobilization before we left the 
United States. Our "continental editions" of the 
New York Herald, London Times, and Chicago 
Tribune were just about as meagre of information 
as they were of size. True, friends sent us maga- 
zines and papers, but in those days they rarely 
reached us. So we asked "What are Pioneer 

All were quickly at work preparing to receive 
the newcomers. An addition of three thousand men 
meant extra work. Reams of paper and thousands 
of envelopes had to be prepared for easy distribu- 
tion, because writing material was the very first 
demand of the soldier landing on foreign soil. 
Above all other pressing needs was the need to 
write the folk back home that, "I got over all right." 
Not only were letters hurried home, but the hands 
of the Y folk were quickly filled with messages to 



be cabled. Extra gallons of chocolate had to be 
made and canteen supplies enlarged; special "in- 
formation bureaus" set up; money made ready for 
exchange and other details arranged for prompt 

But as we worked we also wondered about these 
new soldiers. The word "pioneer" embodied a 
wealth of courage and daring, so that long before 
the 807th rushed our hut that September afternoon, 
we had woven about them all the wonderful dreams 
of their achievements at the front that it is possible 
for a woman's fancy to fashion. And, although 
they never had all the chance we had dreamed for 
them, they did not fail us. Wherever an oppor- 
tunity challenged them, they triumphantly answered 
it, as attested below: 



Bourg (Haute Marne), France. 

A. P. 0. 714. 

April 26, 1919. 
General Orders No. 2. 

1. The commanding officer takes pleasure in publish- 
ing to the command the following letters received from 
General Headquarters, American Expeditionary Forces, 
relative to participations of the 807th Pioneer Infantry 
in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. It is desired that this 
order be published to all troops, and that proper recog- 
nition of the same be made on all records pertaining 
thereto. It is the intention of the Commanding Officer 
to present this ribbon when the regiment has again as- 
sembled. Service ribbons as prescribed, will be for- 
warded as soon as received. 



France, April 19, 1919. 

From: The Adjutant General, American 3. 1. 
To: Commanding Officer 807th, Pioneer Infantry. 

Subject: Ribbons. 

1. Herewith is a copy of the order issued at these 
Headquarters on the subject of the award of silver bands 
to be engraved and placed upon the Pike of Colors of 
Lance of the standards of the organizations which have 
served in the A. E. F.; even if we get here in France the 
prescribed silver bands', it would be impossible to have 
the engraving done in time to present them to the divi- 
sions entitled to them. For that reason each organiza- 
tion is given a ribbon which shows which battle it par- 
ticipated in. This ribbon will be retained until the 
proper silver band is presented by the War Department. 

2. The Commander in Chief directs me to send the 
ribbons to you, and to ask you to present them with 
appropriate ceremonies to the units for which they are 
intended. He regrets that this cannot be done by him 
in person. 



France, April 19, 1919. 

From: Commander-in-Chief, American E. F. 
To: Commanding Officer 807th, Pioneer Infantry 

Subject: Battle Participation. 

1. Following is a list of battle engagements of the 
807th Pioneer Infantry Regiment, during the War with 
Germany, including organizations which are entitled to 
the silver bands awarded under paragraph 244, Army 
Regulations. The ribbons furnished herewith are in lieu 
of the bands which will be supplied by the Adjutant 
General of the Army later. 



(1) Meuse-Argonne Offensive, France, October 25 to 
November 11, 1918. Organization entitled to silver 
band: 807th Regiment of Pioneer Infantry. 


Adjutant General. 

By Order of COLONEL GARY. 


Captain, 8Q7th Pioneer Infantry, 
Acting Adjutant. 

Somehow it seemed difficult for the above regi- 
ment and others, whom we questioned from time to 
time, to know just why they had been honored with 
their name. Many of them had the high hope at 
first, as one fine soldier expressed it, that they were 
to be trained into the highest type of combatant 
troops, who were to clear the way to victory. Their 
record is abundant proof that they did clear the 
way to victory, but it was hardly as combatant 
troops that they won their honors. Although sharing 
the general hardships of the front, subjected to 
its shot and shell, they had small chance for real 
fighting. When the Armistice came several of 
these regiments had reached the trenches, and with 
another week of war, their story would have been 
a very different one. 

Most of these regiments as they reached France, 
were forwarded to the Haute-Marne Training Area 
where they were given short but strenuous instruc- 
tions in French warfare. From there they were 



again sent forward, this time to the aid of the 
various fighting detachments. 

A notable exception to this general disposition 
of these Pioneer Regiments was the 809th a 
sturdy set of lads from the Middle and Northwest. 
They arrived in France in early October, and 
almost immediately were ordered to the front. 
Investigation showed that this regiment had been 
formed about the first of September, sailed the 
21st of the same month, and that most of the 
men knew very little about handling a rifle. The 
order was revoked and the regiment kept in the 
rear, most of them being sent to Nantes, where they 
remained until the following summer. And yet 
this regiment had a larger percent of professional 
men and skilled artisans in their ranks than most 
of the others. Three of the nine who went to the 
University of London were from this organization. 
Howard Drew, the world-champion at a hundred 
yards, Dismukes, Lyons, Malacher and Charleston 
of baseball fame were a part of it. Lionel Artis, 
now Y. M. C. A. Secretary at Indianapolis was 
one of its fine Regimental Sergeant Majors. An 
officer admitted to the men that he had been re- 
quested to recommend some of them for commis- 
sions, but preferred to keep them to build up the 

The experiences of these Pioneer regiments in 
France, related in their own unique expressions, 
would make a volume of much historical value, 
rich in humor and pathos. Each regiment held a 
certain pride for outstanding qualities peculiar to 



Sergeants Baylis, Coleman and Freeman. 

Sergeant-Majors Long, Armstead and Clifford. 

Sergeants Carr and Johnson. 


itself. Very often we found "silence golden" as 
we sat in the midst of heated discussions relative to 
the merits of these various "8s," as they were 
often called, because the regiments ranged in num- 
ber from 801 to 816. But we did learn by per- 
sonal contact that each organization had its own 
distinctive fineness and fitness, and all who served 
these men in France will ever count it one of their 
greatest privileges as welfare workers. 

The first of these regiments to reach France was 
the 808th, which landed at Brest September 7th, 
1918. There were many men in this group of 
superior intellect and character Maurice Clifford, 
a teacher of the High School, Washington, D. C., 
and son of Honorable and Mrs. William H. Clif- 
ford, was one of its regimental sergeant majors; 
Cornelius Dawson, graduate of Lincoln University, 
had left his theological course at Philadelphia to 
join the ranks. Warwick Johnson of Virginia 
Union University fame was one of them, along with 
hundreds of others of the same type. These men 
were called to help the 12th Engineers in the con- 
struction of a narrow gauge railway at the front. 
As they worked, shot and shell rained over them. 
In their dugouts they were tortured by rats and 
"cooties." Small wonder that an officer who had 
observed it all should have remarked: "We can- 
not understand their make-up, for under hardest 
conditions they hold themselves together and are 
able to raise a song." It seems after all that only 
black folk can interpret the "Souls of Black Folk." 
We went to look for the "808" at Dombasle where 



they had their headquarters so long after the war 
ended. But they had entrained, and there was 
left only the dreary waste and desolation, that 
swept unbroken over many a mile, to tell us the 
terrible isolation they had suffered in France. 

One of the men of the "813" said: "We endured 
all the hardships of the front but missed the thing 
we wanted most some real whacks at the enemy." 
This was no doubt true, for this regiment was really 
bombarded from one front to the other until it 
reached St. Remy a few miles from Metz. Then 
the order came to fight! It was two o'clock in the 
morning, and at four they were moving forward. 
For two days they were under constant fire. This 
regiment held itself with a justifiable pride. 
Regimental Sergeant Major W. W. Tyler, fine in 
physique, intellect and manners, was a fit leader 
and representative of the men under him. Whether 
in field maneuvers under Sergeant Major Williams 
of the 24th Infantry, or in the office with men like 
Jay Dickinson, one was conscious of the high 
intelligence of the soldiers of the "813th." We 
went one Sunday to visit some of this particular 
regiment. At that time it had been distributed on 
the various battlefields to assemble the American 
dead in cemeteries, and we were visiting the com- 
panies at Belleau Wood and Fere-en-Tardenois, 
near Chateau Thierry. At these places the men 
gathered in the huts to hear a word from the Y 
secretaries. Each had received the hearty applause 
that only soldiers know how to give. But there was 
one young lad in the party, formerly a sergeant in 



the regiment, who had been released to the Y. M. 
C. A. for service. It was when he modestly moved 
fonvard to say his word that the men made the hut 
too small for their outburst. There were yells and 
cries for "Sergeant Burwell! Burwell!" until, put- 
ting his hand to his mouth, he yelled back, "Fel- 
lows, give me a chance!" He stood before them 
with a wonderful light on his face, and drove home 
plain truths about right living; he told them about 
those secret places of reward for the hard things 
they were then doing. The men listened to him and 
cheered, because they knew that he exemplified in 
his own life the message he gave them. 

The day was closing at Fere-en-Tardenois and we 
went to sit on a log and eat supper out of a bor- 
rowed mess kit. It was then two of the fellows 
said they wanted to tell us something. This is 
what they told us. "We think you might be able 
to tell some of the Y men about our condition 
here, and they could help change it. We find the 
P'rench villagers here have been told we are an 
aggregation of diseased men, sent to dig these 
graves and bury the dead as a punishment!" It 
had been a glorious day, full of the fun and joy 
to be found in the midst of our young manhood, 
and we had realized all the delightful thrills of 
being A. W. 0. L. (absent without official leave). 
But now the cloud came as it so often did in France. 
We looked out upon the war shattered landscape 
about us, and wondered why the spirits of the 
thousands of French, who had allowed themselves 
to be mowed down in that very place rather than 



surrender the principles of right, did not rise up 
to curse this awful wrong. With tears in our souls, 
but with brave eyes, we talked to them. We did 
tell this case, but the soul that should have been 
strong to vindicate them, proved but a weakling, 
and the young Y man who made the attempt to help 
them, was not only thwarted, but crushed for his 

Several of the Pioneer regiments touched foreign 
soil at Liverpool. Some were held there for service 
as were some labor battalions. But most of them 
crossed England to Southampton and landed at La 
Havre. This was the route of the 802nd, who came 
largely from West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. 
Making long and exhausting hikes, this regiment 
also reached the First Army where it talked little 
and worked hard. Says one of the men: "Our 
regiment was divided about October 1st into three 
sections. The first battalion was given the task 
of helping the engineers build a standard gauge 
railway from Aubreville to a point north, half-way 
to Varennes a distance of ten kilometers. The 
second battalion was to connect up with the first 
battalion at this point thence northward five kilo- 
meters beyond Varennes. The third battalion was 
given the task of furnishing rock from the stone 
quarries for the repair of the highway. All this 
work was highly essential in order to keep the 
firing line supplied with ammunition, rations, etc. 
The conditions in the sector were at all times most 
trying. The men were subjected to bombardment 
from enemy long range guns and aerial attacks 



almost daily. But the railroad was completed in 
a short time, and supplies were speeding up to the 
front for the final drive." 

November 18th, seven days after the Armistice 
was signed, the entire 802nd Pioneer Regiment was 
highly commended in general orders by the Chief 
Engineer of the First American Army in which he 
declared their services indispensable to the final 
drive. We must look behind this record to the 
quiet, dignified, but wonderfully alert enlisted men 
who made it. The ranking Regimental Sergeant 
Major, J. Emmet Armistead, was not only an ex- 
perienced army man of spotless record, cultured by 
hard study and Old World travel, but a high type 
of Christian soldier. Although still young, he 
carries the marks of Philippine fighting and is an 
expert swimmer, horseman, marksman and athlete. 
But one learned this only after many conversations 
and gentle probings. This spirit of modesty went 
down through the regiment. We think of Sergeant 
Toney of Ohio University, Sergeant Kenneth Pack 
of Virginia Union University, and many others who 
made us conscious of the fineness of the regiment. 

No two Pioneer regiments were quite so famed 
as hard workers and hard fighters as the 801st and 
the 803rd. Both shared the toil and danger of 
other regiments, but both seemed to have been 
determined to fight for right treatment, although 
it meant continuous fighting. At Brest, we saw 
evidence of the labors of the 801st in the trans- 
formation of Pontanezen from a mudhole to the 
cleanest and most modern of camps. These men 

9 127 


came from Indiana and Kentucky, and the regiment 
was formed at Camp Taylor, largely of the 157th 
and 159th Depot Brigades. The Y. M. C. A. gained 
two secretaries from it, Sergeant Majors Eggleson 
and Watkins, who gave fine service to their former 
comrades. Regimental Sergeant Major U. S. Don- 
aldson of this organization was among the brightest 
and most popular of the soldier-students who went 
to the British Universities. 

Of all the Pioneer regiments, we knew the 803rd 
best those "terrible" Illinois lads, one thousand 
of whom came from Chicago. In fact they were 
our own regiment, for they christened us god- 
mother with water that flowed straight down from 
the far-famed Alps. It was for some of the men 
of this regiment that we first cooked sausages and 
pancakes in the Leave Area; for its band that we 
made our first ice cream there. It was there that 
group after group told us of their lonely life at 
St. Maurice, Vigneulies, and other points near 
Verdun. Afterward, we were sent to serve them, 
but, alas, it was too late, as they had entrained. 
However, we caught up with the whole regiment at 
Pontanezen, and there, instead of our serving them, 
they served us. True, we gave them ice cream, 
lemonade, cookies, "movies" and books. But 
whatever of beauty and comfort came to the Y 
hut known as "Soldiers' Rest" at Camp Pontanezen, 
was largely due to the energy, time and money in- 
vested by the 803rd in its remodeling. From Com- 
pany M, with its wonderful sergeants from the 
regular army, always alert to help us, we were 



1. Sergeant Sheridan. 2. Sergeant Roach. 3. Sergeant Chapman. 4. 
Sergeant Jeton. 5. Sergeant Dawson. 6. Sergeant Gowdy. 7. Ser- 
geant-Major Hardy. 8. Sergeant-Major H. L. Coverdale with Sergeants 
9. Sergeant Blackwell 


supplied the finest "detail" for work about the 
hut to be found in all France. But the volunteer 
details were no less fine, and we can never forget 
Taylor and James who constituted themselves our 
protectors as well as hut carpenters. 

We could fill a whole book with the names of 
men of this regiment who throng our memory. 
There was Gowdy, Griffin, Williams, Jetton, Sheri- 
dan, Harrison and Matthews all soldiers, but gentle- 
men first; there was Curtis Kennedy, whose young 
face shone as he talked of his wife, mother and baby 
back home; there was Sergeant Washington, who 
knew so well the value of a balanced menu, and 
gave us our best mess in France, then sailed away, 
leaving us to our leanest days. But memory clings 
closest to the one, who in addition to the loneliness 
and hardship of life at the front, had bitter gall 
sent him from home to drink. For a time it seemed 
too much to endure, and he was ready for the 
plunge of despair. Slowly but surely, we drew 
that man back from the precipice, and lingered 
near till he was on sure ground, and the strength 
of the real soldier had come once again into his 
veins. What joy to know that for him there is 
still the grim determination to walk the better way. 

One afternoon, in our hut at the port, a whistle 
sounded and a sharp command followed, "All 
men of the 804th report to their barracks at once." 
What did it matter that the most interesting pictures 
imaginable were being passed over the screen* 
The "804th," with its plenty of brain and plenty 
of brawn who had now and then sent an over- 



bearing military police into deep repose the 
"804th," with the isolations and hardships of the 
front still haunting it, was going home that July 
day. Oh, the gladness of them for this hard- 
earned reward! It was so contagious that it filled 
not only their souls but those of their comrades 
of other organizations, waiting for the same mes- 

Some one said that the order went forth, "only 
handsome men for the 806th." Certain it was that 
everywhere they went in France one heard their 
good looks mentioned. But it in no wise spoiled 
them for the immense amount of work they did. 
At the front, at Montrichard, at Orley, and last 
near Paris, where they helped to build the cele- 
brated Pershing Stadium, they carried themselves 
with honor. Many of the men of this regiment, too, 
sought for training and commissions, but were told 
that they were too badly needed by their regiment 
to encourage any changes. 

The "811th" and "814th" had their regiments 
split up from the beginning and used at many 
points chiefly in the S. 0. S. We believe that 
some companies of the "814th" saw service in 
England. These men were rushed across the ocean 
at the last moment, but they did great service in 
salvaging and reconstruction after the Armistice 
came. We recall an amusing incident in connec- 
tion with one company of the "814th." It had but 
recently reached our area, and was at mess in one 
of the huge mess halls, constructed towards the end 
of the war. We were bravely plunging through the 



deep mud so common to the camps in France, and 
wearing high hoots, the novelty of which had long 
since heen forgotten. We were startled by a sharp 
whistle, followed by the camp expression "Oo-la- 
la!" that brought men and mess kits to the doors 
and windows. One exclaimed, "It's a genuine 
brown!" while another in most sympathetic voice 
added, "And it's got on boots too!" For a moment 
embarrassment swept over us, but we knew how 
genuine was the surprise of colored soldiers at 
first sight of their own women in France, so we 
laughed back and waved them a welcome to the 
Y hut. From the "811th," Sergeant Ulysses Young 
and from the "814th" Sergeant Everett Brewing- 
ton, were among those who went to King's College 
in England. 

We had been waiting among the ruins of Verdun 
a whole week, by order of the Regional Secre- 
tary of the Y. M. C. A. ; he was trying to convince 
the colonel in charge of Camp Romagne that women 
would help to better the conditions in that camp. 
But the colonel was not easily convinced. He 
told us afterward, that it was not colored women, 
but just women that he felt should not be 
with the soldiers in the camps. "War was stern 
and men ought to be hard at such times." He was 
not alone in this opinion, for not only did colonels 
feel that way, but many soldiers and welfare 
workers were of that opinion. However, we finally 
rode from Verdun to Romagne in a wonderfully 
uncertain Ford, through thirty-six kilometres of 
blinding dust that bit and stung for several days. 



But it was all well worth while, for it gave us the 
chance to share the life of the 815th and 816th 
Pioneers, with the labor battalions who were there 
in the camp, and that of some of the companies of 
the "813th" who came later. 

We reached the camp on Mother's Day, and 
as many of the men as could crowd the "hanger," 
as the tent auditorium was called, were there. 
After a year among soldiers, we had become 
quite accustomed to whistles, calls, applause and 
shouts; otherwise the noise occasioned by a woman's 
advent among the thousands of men, might have 
overwhelmed us, and made it impossible to reach 
the rostrum. 

The work of these stalwart California lads of 
the "815th," and of the "816th," so many of whom 
came from the Central West, is told elsewhere in 
the chapter Reburying of the Dead. Their record, 
with that of the "813th," and labor battalions who 
helped at the task, is the most sacred of all the 
Pioneer regiments. They were "our boys" at 
Romagne, and again at Brest! They were the very 
last of the Pioneers to reach France and the last 
to reach America again. It was a picture to linger 
in the memory, as with packs on back, bags in hand 
and heads erect, we saw these men march at the 
dawn of the day out of the camp, down the long 
dusty road, over the city streets to the waiting 
transports. They were not permitted to look to 
the right or left, but as they passed slowly by, a 
lifting of the eyes, a movement of the hand, or in 
some small way, the women who had served them 



recognized through tear-dimmed eyes a warm 

Those Pioneer regiments, so quickly mobilized to 
meet an emergency, were just as quickly demobi- 
lized with the return of the men to America. But 
the strengthening and unifying processes through 
which they passed as a result of the hard work, 
hard sacrifices, and in many cases, hard treatment 
of the war, can never be demobilized. There will 
be little whining from these men who are even 
yet Pioneers. But certain of their power of 
achievement, keen and courageous for truth and 
justice, they will hold fast to their vision of the 
future, and with strong, sure hands, build toward 
that future. 


Ye Queens, who bear the birth-pangs of a world, 

To whom the nations in this hour of stress, 

For succor look, and for the truth to bless, 

Ye great, whose fondled darlings, combed and curled, 

Are in the shell-torn, shamble-trenches hurled, 

To stay the hellish Hun, who else would press, 

The cup of degradation and distress, 

To lips of men with freedom's flag unfurled 

Ye valiant mother-band who gladly gave, 

The first fruits of your riven wombs to save, 

The world from horrors darker than the grave, 

Ye are the Brave, who in your Country's need 

Did sow the trenches with your precious seed 

The greatest gift of war, and valor's noblest deed. 



Over the Canteen in France 

PRESS and pulpit, organizations and individuals 
were beseeching and demanding in 1918 that 
the Red Cross add some of our well-trained and 
experienced nurses to their "overseas" contingent, 
but no favorable response could be obtained. 
Meantime, the Paris Headquarters of the Young 
Men's Christian Association cabled as follows: 
"Send six fine colored women at once!" This call 
came so suddenly that for a while attention was 
diverted from the Red Cross issue that had been 
so uppermost in all minds. 

Six women! A small number to be sure, but 
the requirements for eligibility were not so easy 
to meet and one must not have a close relative in 
the army. Many questions were asked. "Was 
there a real need for women over there? "Could 
they stand the test?" "Would they not be subjected 
to real danger?" "Were not gruesome stories 
being told relative to terrible outrages perpetrated 
on women who had gone?" To these questions and 
others there seemed to be but just one reply. It 
was that if hundreds of other women had answered 
the call to serve the armies of the Allies, surely 
among the thousands of colored troops already in 
France and other thousands who would soon follow 
there would be some place of service for six 
colored women. A few leaders were far-visioned 
enough to see the wisdom of colored women going 
overseas. Mr. Fred. R. Moore, Editor of the New 



York Age, worked untiringly to help secure the 
required number, while Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois, Maj. 
R. R. Moton, and Mr. Emmett Scott strongly en- 
dorsed the sending over of colored women. 

Almost immediately Mrs. James L. Curtis and 
Mrs. William A. Hunton, were invited to go to 
France. Those were the days when sailing dates 
were kept secret and orders for departures given 
at the last moment. When the first call to sail 
came, Mrs. Hunton could not easily be released 
from the war work she had undertaken for the 
Young Women's Christian Association. But the 
following week, Mrs. Curtis, keenly anxious for 
the adventure, was permitted to go alone. Mean- 
while, Miss Kathryn Johnson had been called from 
Chicago, and three weeks later sailed with Mrs. 

For all the period of the war and the dreary 
winter that followed it, there were just these three 
colored women with the American Expeditionary 
Forces in France. Time and time again they were 
lifted up by rumors that other canteen workers 
were on the way. Whenever they saw women arriv- 
ing fresh from America, they would at once inquire 
if there were any colored women in their party. 
Always the rumors would prove false and the 
answer negative. Two hundred thousand colored 
soldiers and three colored women in France! So 
it was for many months. But finally the dream 
of help was realized when in the spring of 1919 
sixteen canteen workers reached France. Only 
sixteen, to be sure, but to the three who had waited 



and served so long alone, they seemed a mighty 

What a wonderful spirit these sixteen women 
brought with them! They had been impatiently 
waiting, some of them for many months, to answer 
the call. They knew how their soldiers needed 
their presence in France so they arrived eagerly 
ready for that last lap of Y service, the impor- 
tance and significance of which can hardly be 
over-estimated. The Armies of the Allies had won 
the war, but there was a moral conflict for the war- 
weary men hardly less subtle and deadly in its 
effects than the conflict just ended. It required a 
program of compelling interest to hold the soldiers 
against the reaction of war's excitement and 
ghastly experiences, and the new thirst for home 
and friends. Therefore, the coming at that time 
of sixteen canteen workers for our soldiers was 
wonderfully opportune. 

But just what of the canteen service for all the 
months that had preceded their coming? How 
had just three of us managed to be mothers, sisters 
and friends to thousands of men? 

The first colored woman who reached France 
had been sent to Saint Sulpice in the great Bor- 
deaux area, and though she was quickly returned 
to Paris, the few days she had spent in the camp 
made a bright spot for the men there in that veri- 
table wilderness of hardships. That she made ice 
cream and other "goodies" for them, and best of 
all, let them open their hearts to her, was never 
forgotten by the men of that camp. Reaching 



Paris, we found her with a group of men secre- 
taries ordered home. It was then that for the first 
time we questioned the wisdom of our adventure. 
Surely we had not given up home, friends and work 
for such an experience! Would blind prejudice 
follow us even to France where men were dying by 
the thousands for the principles of truth and jus- 
tice? There had been no slackening of the impulse 
to serve, when as a part of a mighty procession, 
we crossed the periled deep; no lessening of our 
enthusiasm for war work as we looked for the first 
time upon war's dark picture. But somehow this 
incident, with its revelation of the fact that preju- 
dice could follow us for three thousand miles 
across the Atlantic to the very heart of the world's 
sorrow, tremendously shocked us in those first days. 
But it was a challenge to a heroic sacrifice, and 
we realized the significance of the challenge more 
deeply as the months receded. 

Miss Kathryn Johnson was appointed to Brest, 
but that area, too, seems not to have been keen to 
the advantage of a colored canteen worker, so that 
she was returned to Paris. Both Miss Johnson and 
Mrs. Curtis were then assigned to the advanced 
sector, but found it impossible, because of the 
terrible drive, to reach their posts. 

Meantime, Mrs. Hunton had been sent to the St. 
Nazaire area, and it is there that our story of can- 
teen service really begins, because whatever of 
success came to the colored women in France, was 
due primarily to the record made by them in this 



The St. Nazaire area, in the region of the Loire, 
was more than any other the pioneer section for 
colored work. There went Franklin 0. Nichols, 
the very first colored welfare worker to reach 
France, and there he constructed the first Y hut 
for colored men in France. Soon, he was joined 
by the Rev. Leroy Ferguson, Mr. John C. Wright 
and Mr. William Stevenson, each of whom had 
direction of a Y hut in the area. In due time 
several secretaries arrived to help these first men. 

When Mrs. Hunton reached Saint Nazaire, she 
was immediately assigned to Y hut 5, Camp 
One, for canteen service under the direction of 
Mr. John C. Wright, and to visit other camps of 
the area. Miss Kathryn Johnson came next and 
/ was placed at Camp Lusitania with the Rev. 
Leroy Ferguson. Then came Mrs. Curtis, who 
joined Mr. Stevenson at Camp Montoir. It was 
thus that the first three canteen workers were placed 
for all the period of the war and many weeks 

The St. Nazaire area, more than any other in 
all France at that time, warmly welcomed and 
gave opportunity to the colored Y secretaries to 
demonstrate their spirit and ability to serve their 
own soldiers. Indeed, it seemed rather provi- 
dentially planned to give colored women a first 
real chance. There were two reasons for this op- 
portunity given them. First of all the broad, prac- 
tical Christian spirit of the Divisional Secretary, 
Mr. W. S. Wallace, and second the attitude of our 
own Y men in charge of the huts. Mr. Wallace 



was not only an executive of rare Christian cour- 
age, but his attitude and opinions commanded the 
respect of those under his supervision. He dealt 
with the colored men and women of his area in the 
same fine manner and spirit that he dealt with all 
others. We shall always remember him among 
those fine spirits of his race that hold our faith 
for the ultimate triumph of the brotherhood of 

The second contributing cause for whatever of 
success the women came to have was in the per- 
sonnel of the men with whom they worked. For, 
however fine might be the Divisional Secretary or 
no matter how far-visioned and energetic the 
woman herself might be, she could hardly render 
efficient service unless she had the sympathetic 
co-operation of her hut secretary. 

The writer was most fortunate in doing her first 
work with Mr. John C. Wright. It was a rare priv- 
ilege that gave us four months of most enthusiastic 
service under the direction of this Christian gentle- 
man. He was one of the few men who really 
desired a woman in his hut, so that in our first 
four months of service we were able to plan and 
accomplish something really constructive for the 
seven thousand permanent colored troops of our 
camp, and to help the regiments that spent a few 
weeks with us as they prepared for the front. 
With him we tried to study and comprehend the 
needs and desires of the soldiers, "our boys," as 
we usually called them, and to meet these needs 
and desires in the very best way possible. 



Over the canteen in France was essentially dif- 
ferent from the same thing in the United States 
where friendships and home ties had not yet been 
really severed and war was still thousands of miles 
from the camp. In France, war, with its mystery 
of pain and suffering, was over all. Everywhere 
were evidence of its mutilation and destruction of 
life and home. Everywhere there was exhausting 
work and deep loneliness. In the most joyous hour 
in the Y hut we knew that there was a nervous- 
ness, a tenseness, a deep undercurrent of serious- 
ness that could be found only in an environment 
of death and desolation. 

Over the canteen in France friendships and con- 
fidences ripened quickly because of the loneliness 
of men because of the haunting and yearning 
memories of their women-folk at home. A glass 
of lemonade or a cup of chocolate offered with a 
sympathetic touch was usually sufficient to break 
down all barriers and make way for the usual 
question, "Where are you from"? This answered, 
a like question asked and the acquaintance was 
established. Always there was real happiness if 
one could from somewhere in the memory resur- 
rect a mutual friend in one of these home towns. 
Then came quickly talks of family and life in the 
States. We learned to anticipate that from some 
pocket in the jacket usually the one nearest the 
heart would be drawn forth a wallet or a much 
worn envelope. From it photographs would come 
forth. Sometimes it would be the "best mother," 
again the "dearest wife," and still again the "finest 



girl" or "cutest kid" that a fellow ever had. The 
families or the girls would become visualized for 
us, and after that we would ask about them as if 
they were old friends. 

Over the canteen in France, the woman became 
a trusted guardian of that home back in America. 
To her were revealed its joys and sorrows. Be- 
cause of that same loneliness that loss of back- 
ground the soldier poured out to the canteen 
worker his deepest and dearest memories and 
dreams. She must be ever ready to laugh with 
him, but she must also be ready to go down into 
heart-breaking valley with her soldier boy when 
he would get a bad bit of news a mother, father, 
sister or even a wife or child might have been taken 
away; or, worse still, once in a great while the 
tragedy of faithlessness was made known to him. 
But by far, the letters from home were cheerful to 
have come straight from hearts of women tense with 
longing and anxiety. Oh, the pride of a new father! 
How well we remember a young "top" sergeant 
whom we had thought of as a mere boy. He 
walked up to the canteen one evening with the 
request that we send a cable home for him. He 
wrote the following: "Congratulations on birth 
of Spencer Roberts, Junior, and love to mother." 
Saying to us, "No matter about the cost, I want to 
send it all." How full of love were his eyes as 
he showed us the girl-face of that wife, and we 
could only say "How perfectly wonderful for the 
boy when he grows up! He will know that his 




father was in France at the time of his birth a 
soldier in the world's greatest war." 

When we established the first wet canteen in the 
St. Nazaire area for our own men, we were think- 
ing of the real comfort of it to the men. We de- 
liberately planned to make our chocolate so good 
that they would really come for it and our lemon- 
ade real lemonade, and crullers that would "taste 
just like home." But we could not even dream 
of all that it would mean in cheer, comradeship 
and good will. It was pathetic to see long lines 
of men patiently waiting for a cup of chocolate 
and a cookie to find many coming from distant 
camps not alone for the refreshments, but for the 
good cheer they found with us. It was a picture 
that would have touched the hearts of the home- 
folk these men sitting around on the window-seats 
or at the tables, hundreds of them quietly talk- 
ing and sipping their drink. And the Y woman 
would leave her post behind the canteen for a little 
and wander from table to table for a word, or 
she would drink a cup of chocolate with a little 
group while they talked of farming, opening a 
store or returning to college after the war. It 
was so little and yet it was so much in that every- 
day life of war war so terrible so long. 

Over the canteen in France meant not simply the 
eat and drink of it when rightly interpreted. It 
meant that we must not rely alone on the "Movies" 
and entertainments sent from Headquarters to the 
soldiers but we must supply games, entertain- 
ments of our own and even parties. One party 

10 143 


our first was only time in France we believe, in 
which we showed the "yellow streak." It was to 
be a beautiful party in spite of the fact that but 
two women would be present. Two days had been 
spent in decorating the hut and stringing extra 
lights. Our hut secretary suggested that we put 
aside our uniform for an evening gown and lead 
the grand march, to which we most enthusiastically 
assented. But we were hardly prepared for the 
sight that met our eyes as we entered the outer 
hut. There were men crowded in every space even 
to the rafters more men than we had ever seen in 
any one room. It was no use. We just could not 
get the courage needed to lead a march, and so we 
quietly sat down and looked on that night. How 
we used to wish for our home girls in those days! 
Oh, if we could have had some of the fine ones 
we knew at home to help in those little social 
affairs! As we think of this first party, we recall 
the last more than a year later in the embarkation 
camp at Brest. Not seven thousand men this time, 
but probably three hundred, and nine women to 
dance with them. We held the watch and there 
would be a pause in the music at intervals of three 
minutes. That meant "change partners." The 
best part of that evening was the fun of securing 
a partner without a real rush upon her. Then, too, 
hearts were lighter by far than at that first party, 
for the war had ended, and the soldiers were simply 
waiting for the transports that would take them 

With the co-operation of our splendid hut secre- 



tary, Mr. J. C. Wright, we had fitted out the first 
reading and reception room for the soldiers in our 
area. Other rooms had been open to them, but 
this was open for them and others. It was there 
that our men loved best to go in the twilight and 
evening hour. How quickly they learned to feel 
that it was worth while to look spick and span for 
such a cozy spot. It was because of this lovely 
room with its magazines, books, comfortable seats, 
beautiful plants, flowers, and cheerful fire that 
many men could endure the months in which 
"passes" to leave camp could not be secured. "We 
should worry when we have a place like this," 
was a remark often heard in those days as they 
quietly discussed this special grievance. But this 
room became best known for its Chat Hour that 
came to fill it to overflow on Sundays at the twi- 
light hour. Somehow it came to us that this was 
a lonely time for men. Sunday, just after supper 
away from home and no special place to go. So 
we discussed it with some of the men and began 
with just informal talks on current topics apart 
from the war or army. The interest grew. Men 
were there from Howard, Union, Hampton, Tuske- 
gee, Morehouse, Atlanta, Clark, and other schools, 
so we had talks about their institutions and their 
founders. We had talks on race leaders, on work 
after the war music, art, religion and every con- 
ceivable subject. We instituted a question box that 
was generally opened in fear and trembling, for 
one could never be quite sure of the questions. It 
might be, "When will you make us some fudge?" 



or it might be, "Which is the greatest science?" A 
question like the first we would answer, while one 
like the second would be respectfully deferred 
to the hut secretary or chaplain. A cup of tea 
or chocolate with a wafer would give the social 
side to the hour. It was so much better than 
most lyceums and forums we have known here 
at home, because somehow it was, as most 
things were over there, so much more full of 
human warmth. This little Chat Hour started in 
a simple way at Hut Five, St. Nazaire, remains 
one of its most precious memories, and was 
adopted in many other places. When the soldiers, 
who were for so many months a part of that hut, 
were sent to Camp Lusitania, they carried the 
Chat Hour with them, and it was there one of the 
finest features of that great camp as it continued to 
be at Hut Five even after many changes had been 

Over the canteen in France meant much letter 
writing and the wrapping and sending home little 
presents that had been approved by the company 
commanders. At Christmas tide, this involved 
many hours of work, as it did always at embarka- 
tion time. Frequently the Y woman must go 
shopping for her boys to buy not only the pres- 
ents sent home, but also the little necessities that the 
canteen and commissary of the camp did not have. 

How can the picture of Christmas in camp ever 
fade away? The Y. M. C. A. was a most generous 
Santa Claus in its wonderful trees, decorations and 
presents. The hut was full of good cheer, but it 



was also full of memories, and men talked of other 
Christmastides back home. More than one fellow 
found it made him just too homesick to look upon 
the lighted Christmas tree, and yet he wanted it 
there wanted that link with his own fireside. He 
was glad of the lights, of the music and the romping 
Santa who distributed the presents. 

Then came the French school children several 
hundreds of them, with their teachers, brought out 
in army trucks to be the guests of the camp. How 
their eyes filled with joyful wonder at the big glit- 
tering American tree! How they laughed and 
clapped as the men played, danced, and sang for 
them! Then they listened in wrapt silence as a 
Red Cross lady told them in French about the 
American Christmas and its wonderful Santa 
Claus. With the native grace peculiar to the 
French child they received the presents handed 
them by the soldiers, but not trying to conceal their 
perfect ecstasy over them or their bon-bons. How 
lovely is that fine child courtesy of the Old World! 

Somehow one found time for a great many 
things in camp, and so between the Christmas tree 
and canteen, we had prepared a real Christmas 
dinner for the Y men and the soldiers who helped 
with the canteen. But the dinner was too much for 
one of the soldiers, and he carefully put it all aside 
till later. The memory of the past Christmas was 
too vivid, when he had just arrived in France, and 
had only the cold ground for a bed and cold beans 
and hard tack to eat. Before the beginning of 
the evening's activities, the hut was quiet for an 



hour, and we sat in the firelight's glow for a 
moment of personal thought, on that wonderful 
Christmas day! So far were we from home 
and friends, yet far keener in human understand- 
ing and sympathy than ever before. In so many 
thousand American homes there could be no Christ- 
mas joy that day, only the memory of the dead 
lying somewhere on the cold bleak Western Front. 
What could the Christ Child signify at such a time? 
Perhaps there in the camp one could comprehend 
better than in America that through mighty travail 
was being born to the world a New Day in which 
men would be conscious of their worth, assured 
of their liberty, and learn that right after all 
is might. 

Over the canteen in France included not only a 
cozy reading room and the selection of books for 
the men to read, but it meant also, reading to them 
or with them in leisure moments. One must help, 
too, in educational work. Our first visit to Camp 
Lueitania was spent teaching a class in English. 
Then came the Y woman to that camp, who gave a 
greater impetus to study there than had hitherto 
been known. She would spend hours guiding with 
her own small, fair hand, those of the men who 
for the first time were eager with desire to write 
their own names. It was thus, then, these women 
worked in the St. Nazaire area at Camp Lusitania 
with its emphasis on educational activities; at 
Camp Montoir, where the excellence of the can- 
teen became far-famed, and at Camp One with its 
joyous, homelike atmosphere. 



After four months, a change came over the camp- 
life of the area. Mr. Wright returned to America 
to take part in the great drive for funds. The 
seven thousand stevedores and labor battalions 
that we had served with so much joy for four 
months, were divided between Camps Lusitania 
and Montoir. We saw with proud but sad heart 
the 807th march toward the Front. From the con- 
stant noise of many feet and voices, we found our 
hut reduced to an unbearable stillness and isolation. 
The camp was now to become exclusively an em- 
barkation and debarkation center. For two days 
we were in danger of a good hard spell of home- 
sickness and then came the news that there were 
transports in the harbor colored soldiers were 
coming heaps of them! 

We were never quite so glad to see any soldiers 
as we were the 809th Pioneer Infantry, and the 
33 Lieutenants of the Artillery who arrived that 
Monday morning in October. We met them first 
as they rested on the beautiful ocean boulevard 
of St. Nazaire. Life flowed into us once again as 
we flitted among them welcoming them to our camp 
and hot chocolate. Even then, many of them 
looked very worn and ill, but we hardly dreamed 
of the tragedy of that October transport. We were 
on our way that morning to the weekly Y Con- 
ference with its inspirational and helpful program 
that, no doubt, was a large factor in the success 
of the area. But the conference seemed very long, 
so anxious were we to get to camp. We requested 
at headquarters special transportation to speed our 



errands and hurry us to work. Soon we are in 
our hut it is crowded men are everywhere and 
we look over the crowd and wonder what has hap- 
pened. These are not the swarthy lads we were 
welcoming on the ocean front only here and 
there do we see one. We are still wondering when 
a voice close at hand says, "Lady, got any paper 
and envelopes?" "Certainly," we say, and then 
we begin to meet the first need of the soldiers. 
Meantime, we are saying, "No, no stamps neces- 
sary turn your letter over to your company com- 
mander to be censored." "Oh, yes three-cent 
stamp if your folks are in Italy." Later we learn 
that many of our own boys have been sent to 
another camp, and that most of those in our camp 
are in a distant part. We learn something else 
influenza is raging hundreds of men have died 
on the voyage the hospitals are crowded, so are 
the barracks. Sick men could hardly be left in 
"pup" tents in the deep mud and constant rain of 
that season. That night another change comes over 
our hut. On all the benches, in all the corners and 
in what had been our cheerful reading room are 
sick men, many of them ill unto death. We are 
not only preparing hot chocolate now, but all day 
long we are preparing lemons, so that at night we 
may pass among these men with hot lemonade. It 
is a sad time graves can hardly be dug rapidly 
enough nurses are scarce every one is doing the 
best he knows. True, these are not colored boys 
we are serving, but what matters that they are 
soldiers all, and every lad of them a mother's son. 



We go to the hospital and move among them. They 
can only see the smile in our eyes, for we wear the 
white masque across our faces. To the convales- 
cent we give cigarettes, literature, gum, and now 
and then candy. For the very ill we leave oranges 
or lemons. For some there is little need to leave 
anything but a prayer. 

The following is an extract from a letter received 
from a soldier with reference to that period, "It 
was in St. Nazaire at Base 101, that I was desper- 
ately sick with 'Flu' in October, 1918. Mr. Davis, 
whom I had known at Evansville, came through 
my ward. Next day you and Miss Johnson came 
with oranges and that most prized thing in all the 
world at that time lemons. Oh, how good you 
did look to me! Then, too, how kind you folk 
were when I rejoined my outfit at Camp One. My 
mind recalls that Sunday evening 'Quiet Hour' 
you held, while we were there. How you spoke 
to the boys and urged them to keep themselves 
clean for the sake of the good women back home. 
Then when you asked us to talk what man could 
have kept still." The plague passed, and many a 
man was laid to rest having done his bit to the 
utmost, though it simply meant breaking home ties 
and reaching the port of France. After the plague 
had spent itself, we marched one day with a long 
line to the American Cemetery, a mile distant from 
the town. There, while the day was dying, a Red 
Cross Chaplain told impressively the challenge 
flung to us by those white crosses upon which we 
looked, and that had come so suddenly into our 



little part of that death-ridden country. The 
French people brought flowers, the Red Cross and 
Y secretaries sang, the band played "America," 
the trumpeter sounded "Taps," the guns rang 
out for the dead and then we left them alone in 
their glory. 

The sixteen Y women who came to France in 
the spring of 1919 worked much as the first three 
women had, except that they were able to go out by 
twos. The first three women had always been in 
different camps, each a lone woman in her hut. 
There might be a dozen Y women in her camp 
but she worked absolutely alone, often her hours 
stretching from 9 in the morning to 9 at night 
but always it was a work of love. When the 
sixteen women arrived, they brought in them- 
selves companionship, not only for the soldiers but 
for the women already over there. Five of them 
went to the Leave Area. Dr. N. Fairfax Brown, 
Mrs. Childs and Mrs. Williamson joined Mrs. Cur- 
tis at Chambery and Misses Evans and Thomas with 
Miss Johnson, who had been at St. Nazaire, joined 
Mrs. Hunton at Challes-les-Eaux. Mrs. Williams 
and Mrs. Craigwell succeeded Miss Johnson at St. 
Nazaire, while Misses Bruce and Carbon went to 
Marseilles. First Misses Rochon, Edwards and 
Phelps found place with that splendid secretary, 
Mr. Sadler, in the Chaumont Area. Misses Saurez 
and Turner went to Le Mans. The soldiers 
had seen every variety of entertainer sent to 
France. They had heard some of the very best 
of American and foreign pianists, but none had 



received the ovation from the colored soldiers that 
was given Miss Helen Hagan, the only colored 
artist sent to France. Everywhere she was received 
by tremendous crowds of men with rapturous ap- 
plause, and her wonderful talent was never put 
to better use nor more deeply appreciated. The 
last woman to arrive for overseas work was Mrs. 
Mary V. Talbert, President of the National Associa- 
tion of Colored Women. We felt deeply honored hi 
having her a member of our overseas group. With 
Misses Rbchon and Edwards, Mrs. Talbert joined 
Mrs. Curtis, who had succeeded Mrs. Hunton at 
Romagne. There she won the hearts of the soldiers 
completely. They gave her a purse of $1,000 for 
the Frederick Douglass Home at Anacostia, which 
through Mrs. Talbert's untiring efforts, has been 
made a national memorial for colored Americans. 
Many changes were made by the Y women in 
that last lap of the work. This was caused by the 
rapid closing of the various areas and the depart- 
ure of the men for the ports. With the close of 
the Leave Area Mrs. Curtis went to Romagne. 
Miss Thomas and Mrs. Williamson were sent to Bel- 
leau Woods, near Chateau Thierry. It was not 
lovely like the Leave Area, but living in tents, they 
served the lonely fellows who were making the 
cemetery there. Their Y hut was only a large 
tent, but it was beautiful inside the day we saw it 
with plants and wild flowers in profusion and 
with one corner equipped as a library. On one 
side was the canteen with its ice-cold lemonade 
and macaroons. How proud the men were of it 



all and how they worshipped those women! For 
the women it was the biggest work they had ever 

To Joinville went Dr. Brown and Mrs. Childs, 
to serve for many, many weeks the 806th Pioneer 
Infantry and others who were building the Pershing 
Stadium. For their splendid work there, the men 
sang their praises without stint. 

General Pershing in commending the splendid 
service rendered by the Y. M. C. A. in the Leave 
Area, especially commends the work of the women. 
While always there was competent French help and 
splendid men secretaries came to help in the Leave 
Area, for four months almost, Mrs. Curtis and 
Mrs. Hunton felt not only the responsibility of pro- 
viding the meals served in the two areas, but the 
beautifying and housekeeping of the buildings and 
constant entertainment of the men. Over the can- 
teen in the Leave Area was something more than 
the jolly vacation that we worked to make it it 
was a time for bracing the morale of the men and 
sending them back to camp with hope and cheer, 
vision and strength. 

Misses Rochon and Edwards in the Chaumont 
Area and Miss Evans in the Le Mans Area did what 
was known as rolling canteen service for the men. 
We have heard the men tell of the first time these 
"angels" appeared in their isolated camps. It was 
difficult to believe their eyes that American 
women of their own had sought them out in those 
far-off lonely places, and were actually bringing 


A. Men in Class Room. B. A Group of Canteen Workers en route 

Home. C. Serving at the Wet Canteen. D. "Our Boys." E. More of 

"Our Boys" at Brest. 


them good, hot chocolate and other heavenly bless- 
ings, but best of all the sunshine of their smiles. 

No woman who went to France won stronger 
approbation for her work than did Miss Saurez. 
When a prize had been offered at Le Mans for the 
most homelike and best kept hut, it was this little 
colored Y lady who won it. 

Over the canteen at Brest meant hut activity 
from early morning till midnight. It was a part 
of what came to be known as the "Battle of Brest," 
which Miss Watson, the Regional Secretary, de- 
clared "Ofttimes more terrible than that of 'No 
Man's Land' because less open." Every minute 
almost meant keeping men free from the despair 
of long waiting and hope deferred. Eight regi- 
ments of Pioneer Infantries, three labor battalions, 
many groups of casuals and several depot com- 
panies were among those whom we bade bon 
voyage during our days at Ponlanezen. Here, as 
at St. Nazaire, the huts were crowded and the can- 
teen lines unending. Men made "seconds," as an 
additional helping was called, but rarely unless 
they were fortunate enough to slip into other men's 
places. Those were busy but happy days at Brest! 
The men were not strange, for we had met them in 
the Leave Area or along the devastated highways. 
We closed our work there so happy that nothing 
could take away the joy of it. 

Over the canteen in France we learned to know 
our own men as we had not known them before, 
and this knowledge makes large our faith in them. 
Because they talked first and talked last of their 



women back home, usually with a glory upon their 
faces, we learned to know that colored men loved 
their own women as they could love no other 
women in all the world. Their attitude of deep 
respect, often bordering on worship, toward the 
colored women who went to France to serve them 
only deepened this impression. The least man 
in camp assumed the right to protect his women, 
and never, by word or deed, did they put to shame 
the high calling of these women. But they were 
intensely human and their longing for their women 
showed itself in a hundred different ways. One 
night a Red Cross parade on Fifth Avenue, New 
York City, was being passed on the screen. When 
a group of colored women were shown marching, 
the men went wild. They did not want that par- 
ticular scene to pass and many approached and 
fondled the screen with the remark, "Just look at 
them." Mrs. Curtis, in whose hut this occurred, 
tells how it brought tears to her eyes. One man 
came to us saying, "Lady, do you want to get rich 
over in France?" We gave an affirmative reply 
and questioned how. He said, "Just get a tent and 
go in there and charge five cents a peep. These 
fellows would just be glad for even a peep at you." 
Another man stood near the canteen one day, but 
not in line. He stood so quietly and so long that 
we finally asked could we serve him. He simply 
gave a negative shake of the head. After several 
minutes we said, "Surely you desire something," 
only to be met by another shake of the head. The 
third time we inquired he said quietly, "Lady, I 



just want to look at you, if you charge anything 
for it I'll pay you it takes me back home." 
Hundreds of incidents gave evidence of the love of 
these men for their women. Sometimes they shed 
tears at their first sight of a colored woman in 

We learned somewhat of their matchless power 
of endurance and of their grim determination to be 
steady and strong to the end in spite of all odds. 
We came to know, too, that what was often taken 
for ignorance, was a deep and far-thinking silence. 
They were sympathetic and generous, often willing 
to risk the supreme sacrifice for a "buddie." The 
chocolate might be too thin or too thick, but there 
was little complaint. On a cold day or after a 
hard hike it was just "hot-stuff" gratefully re- 

We learned to know that there was being de- 
veloped in France a racial consciousness and racial 
strength that could not have been gained in a half 
century of normal living in America. Over the 
canteen in France we learned to know that our 
young manhood was the natural and rightful guar- 
dian of our struggling race. Learning all this and 
more, we also learned to love our men better than 
ever before. 



Peace on a thousand hills and dales 

Peace in the hearts of men 
While kindliness reclaims the soil 

Where bitterness has been. 

The night of strife is drifting past, 
The storm of shell has ceased, 

Disrupted is the cordon fell, 
Sweet charity released. 

Forth from the shadow, swift we come 
Wrought in the flame together, 

All men as one beneath the sun 
In brotherhood forever. 



The Leave Area 

IT was a master mind that first conceived the idea 
of sending tired soldiers away from the shat- 
tered havoc of war and the incessant routine of 
camp life, to find rest and recreation. The most 
beautiful and historic places in France, left un- 
touched by battle's fire, were selected and opened 
as Leave Areas. Had the Young Men's Christian 
Association done no other bit for the American 
Expeditionary Forces except equip and maintain 
these Leave Areas, it still would have done 
a colossal piece of work, fully justifying its 
operations in France. It was a work for which 
thousands and thousands of soldiers are deeply 
grateful. Whatever criticism or prejudice rela- 
tive to the Young Men's Christian Association 
was in the minds of the soldiers as they entered the 
Leave Area, they went away its most enthusiastic 
supporters. There, more than anywhere else in 
France, perhaps, they had opportunity to see below 
the sordid and selfish spirits of individuals who 
might unfortunately represent it, to the heart of 
the Association itself. They could realize there 
that the fundamental principles of the organization 
were right, no matter how poorly interpreted 
through its workers. 

The first of these Leave Areas to be opened was 
at Aix-les-Bains in the region of the Savoie. 
Savoie itself is one of the most pleasantly pastoral 
11 159 


spots in Europe. The country with its rugged 
mountains often snow-clad; its quiet little river- 
villages everywhere; its Old World customs, origi- 
nal and unique, suggested peace and rest. It was 
so near many of the interesting things that men 
had read about in history and geography, but 
never, for the most part, expected to see so full 
of historic associations and traditions that one 
could forget for the time the dead cities, villages, 
and men strewn over other parts of France. Savoie 
is wonderfully exhilarating with its mountain air, 
beautiful lakes and medicinal waters of world- 
wide fame. Everywhere the eyes roamed, they 
rested upon mountains. There were the Swiss 
Alps just forty miles to the East, the Italian Alps 
the same distance toward the South, and the French 
Alps close at hand in every direction. Even before 
men left the trains or "side-door Pullmans," as 
they nicknamed the freight cars in which they so 
often rode, they were filled with the wonder and 
charm of the country into which they had come. 
For the first time they were finding the real France, 
and it was life-giving after dwelling for so many 
months in those parts that were filled with evidences 
of the enemy's unspeakable crimes. 

It was in this region that the first Leave Area 
was opened for American soldiers in February of 
1918. From that time until June, 1919, from five 
to six thousand soldiers came each week for an 
ideal vacation. So successful was this Leave Area 
region that others were opened at Nice, and many 
other beautiful places of Southern France. 



It was at Christmas time of 1918 that the Paris 
Headquarters of the Y telegraphed Mr. Wallace, 
the Regional Secretary of the St. Nazaire Area, 
asking for the loan of Mrs. Curtis and Mrs. Hunton 
for six weeks. They were needed to open two 
Leave Areas for colored soldiers. One of the 
demands of war on welfare workers as well as 
soldiers, was that they be ready to "pack up roll" 
and move on short notice. So that after seven 
months of service at the port, they were to be 
moved. Mrs. Hunton desired to go, because for 
many weeks she had been serving white soldiers 
almost exclusively. They treated her with great 
respect and helped her to prepare and serve as 
colored boys had done. As they marched away 
from camp, they sang for her, cheered for her 
chocolate and crullers and left little tokens of 
affection, and while she had served them with a 
warm and willing heart, always she would be think- 
ing, there are only three colored women in France 
for all the colored soldiers, and one of them serv- 
ing white soldiers. She communicated her feel- 
ings to the understanding spirit who at that time 
headed the Women's Department of the Y work 
in France, and was told to stick to her post and a 
change would be made as soon as possible. But 
when the time really came, it was not so easy to 
go. It meant leaving the thousands of men whom 
she had served those first months, and with whom 
she had kept in constant touch although they 
were in the other camps of the area. There 



was the lovely French family Monsieur et ma- 
dame, les deux tantes, la chat blanc et le bon 
jardin with whom she had lived for seven 
months. She had been worshipped into feeling 
a part of all their charming life. But both 
Y women reported to Paris .and were ordered 
to Aix-les-Bains for assignment. There Mrs. Curtis 
was sent to Chambery and Mrs. Hunton to Challes- 
les-Eaux. These places had been in operation 
since the preceding summer. Colored troops had 
already visited there, but now they were to be sent 
in larger numbers and those two resorts were to 
be used exclusively for them. In the meantime, 
Messrs. Stevenson and Sadler were also asked to 
report. Mr. Stevenson was assigned to the Challes- 
les-Eaux Casino, but Mr. Sadler was unable to get 
release from the Chaumont region where he had so 
long directed a large and important work. When 
we first reached the Leave Area, and for several 
weeks thereafter, it was still occupied by white 
troops. In January of 1918, with Mr. William 
Stevenson as Director and Mrs. Hunton, Directress, 
at Challes-les-Eaux, and Mrs. Curtis, Directress at 
Chambery, a new epoch for the colored soldiers 
on leave began. There, as in other places, the 
colored women served alone, endeavoring to do the 
work that had occupied a large staff of white 
women secretaries. From time to time men 
arrived to help with the work until there was a staff 
of five men at each place. But in the Leave Area, 
more than any other place, much of the work was 


1. The Village of Myans with Mt. Granier. 2. Dinner on the Grounds 
at Challes-les-Eaux. 3. Mr. Stevenson and Mrs. Hunton with Staff, at 
Challes-les-Eaux. 4. The Chateau of the Dukes of Savoie at Chambery. 


that for which women are peculiarly fitted. The 
Chateau or Casino must be kept clean and sweet, 
with cheerful decorations; appetizing menus ar- 
ranged; American dishes made familiar to French 
help and prompt service given; teas, parties 
and hikes planned and still they must have lots 
of time left in which the men could talk to them. 
But for nearly four months these two women 
worked alone, each in her building, until finally 
other women arrived and shared the service. Each 
week from January until late May, a thousand 
to twelve hundred colored troops reached the 
Savoie Leave Area, ano$ were divided between 
Chambery and Challes-les-Eaux. The men lived 
in the many surrounding hotels, but found the 
largest part of their life and entertainment with 
the Young Men's Christian Association. 

A brief description of Savoie, with its leave 
centers, will no doubt be interesting, because in 
most instances, it was the one bright spot in the 
soldier's whole "overseas" life, and because so 
much of his pleasure there was derived from the 
natural beauty of the country. 

Savoie, like Alsace-Lorraine, has been a pawn 
in the hands of contending peoples many times in 
its history. From French to Italian and from 
Italian to French again back and forth it has 
passed as the fortunes of war have dictated. With 
the division of the great empire of Charlemagne, 
Savoie fell into Italian hands. It went to General 



Berold of Saxe in 1008 and at that time was laid 
the foundation for the royalty that has come down 
through the centuries as the House of Savoie, and 
of which the present King of Italy is a member. 
Since the Treaty of Turin in 1860, Savoie has been 
a part of France. This frequent change of govern- 
ment has produced a peculiar blending of French 
and Italian in architecture and life, and adds 
greatly to the charm of the region. 

Aix-les-Bains, not only the most important town 
of the area, but one of the most famous health re- 
sorts of the world, is a striking example of this 
blending. French chateaux on the mountain sides 
and Italian villas by the lake, give it a charming 
setting. In the city itself one is carried back many 
centuries by its Arch of Campanus, old Roman 
Baths, Temple of Diana, Museum and the Grottoes. 

This Arch of Campanus is believed to date to 
the third century A. D. Older still are the Roman 
Baths that are supposed to have been built one 
hundred and twenty-four years before Christ. 
This was always one of the most interesting places 
to the soldiers on leave. There one sees remains 
of the not very ancient methods of these ancient 
Romans for bathing, and even the remains of a 
large swimming pool. Nothing is more interesting 
in Aix-les-Bains than its Temple of Diana, built 
probably about the same time as the Roman Baths 
and in which is housed the museum. The founda- 
tion walls of this temple are more than twelve 
feet thick, and the stones are of enormous size. 



In one corner of this old Greek temple is inserted 
a Gothic window of interest because of its delicate 
beauty and purity of style, but not a part of the 
original architecture. The Grottoes, with the three 
springs that have defied union, are always a source 
of wonder. There are to be found hot alum, hot 
sulphur and cold water springs turning out over 
two million gallons of water each day. With 
lighted candles one follows the many windings and 
descents of the flowing waters. It is very hot but 
very interesting. One sees the place where some 
engineers, two of whom were killed, made an in- 
effectual effort to unite the waters of these springs. 

From things ancient, we come to look at those 
more modern. There are the thermal establish- 
ments that have made Aix-les-Bains world famous 
as a health resort. We are told that this city, 
with a native population of less than ten thousand, 
always had within its boundary prior to the war, 
about thirty thousand visitors. The sedan chairs 
in which the visitors rode about the city are as 
numerous as those that are moved up and down 
the board-walk at Atlantic City. Many Americans 
frequent Aix-les-Bains, and the soldiers were 
always shown the chair and bathing apartments 
reserved for Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan. 

At Aix-les-Bains the Young Men's Christian As- 
sociation had its activities in the Casino one of 
the most luxurious and spacious places of amuse- 
ment on the Continent. With a beautiful garden on 
one side and an imposing entrance on the other, 



this Grand Cercle, as it is called, was the Monte 
Carlo of France until the war came. It has a fine 
theatre, seating a thousand people; a sumptuous 
ball-room, grand salon and many other rooms, 
beautiful with their mosaics, rich carvings and 
stained glass windows. All of these were put to 
use for the entertainment of the soldiers. 

Chambery is hardly less interesting than Aix- 
les-Bains. Surrounded by mountains, with the 
cross on Nivolet dominating all the rest, with its 
quaint stores, streets and houses, it is indeed pic- 
turesque. One follows the rue de Boigne with its 
old arcades and beautiful stores from the Fontaine 
des Elephants up to the Chateau des Dues de 
Savoie. It is an imposing structure with its monu- 
ment to Joseph and Xavier de Maistre on the stair- 
way. The finest part of this chateau is its chapel 
with its remarkable Gothic architecture, ancient 
windows and fine paintings. Just across from this 
chateau was the Y, a charming building, beauti- 
fully furnished and always lively with music and 
good cheer. One delighted in looking on the sol- 
diers sitting by the open fire in its large, but home- 
like salon. Chambery has interesting churches and 
parks. Perhaps the most interesting thing con- 
nected with this town is the fact that for so long it 
was the home of Jean Jacques Rousseau. In what 
Americans would call the suburbs of Chambery, 
we find the home of this much persecuted poet- 
philosopher. It is called "The Charmettes" and is 
carefully preserved with its original furnishings. 



1. Secretarial Group at Challes-les-Eaux. 2. The Lady of Myans 

"Black Madonna." 3. The Elephants at Chambery. 4. The Cross on 

Mt. Nevolet. 5. Statue Jean Jacques Rousseau at Chambery. 


At the entrance is a French inscription which may 
be translated as follows: 

"Hovel by Jean- Jacques inhabited. 

You remind me of his genius. 
His solitude, his proudness 

And his misfortunes and his folly. 
To Glory and Truth 

He dared to consecrate his life, 
And was always persecuted 

Either by himself or by envy." 

A word about the Fountain of Elephants because 
for the Americans it was the center of the town. 
This large white monument with four life-size 
bronze elephants surrounding it, is most imposing, 
the more so because there is continually pouring 
from the mouths of these elephants, streams of 
water. This unique monument is in honor of a 
noted benefactor of the town Count de Boigne 
who spent many years in the Far East. There by 
the fountain the little steam tram usually put off 
or took on its largest number of passengers. There 
the American bands played and the French folk 
gathered about them. One would usually say, 
"Meet me at the Elephants." 

It was at the Elephants that we took the tiny 
tram for Challes-les-Eaux, about three miles 
away. The Thermal Establishment was inaugu- 
rated at Challes-les-Eaux in 1876, and from that 
time it was a popular resort for not only were the 
waters wonderful for baths, but were valuable for 
drink, pulverization, inhalation and gargling. One 



who ever became brave enough to taste them could 
verily believe in all their virtues. In addition to 
its many beautiful hotels, generally clinging to 
hillsides, it had its Casino, too, with restaurant, 
ball-room, billiard tables, reading and gaming 
rooms. It was here that General Joffre rested after 
the Marne. It was this Casino and the five Thermal 
Establishments in the midst of spacious grounds, 
that were taken over for the Y and to which now 
so many happy memories cling. Here as at Aix- 
les-Bains, the Thermal Establishments were used 
by the soldiers through the morning till noon, free 
of all charge to them. What a luxury they were to 
the tired soldier who for a long time had known 
only the bathing facilities of a camp. Challes-les- 
Eaux was admirably located for excursions of his- 
torical and scenic interest, affording real whole- 
some rest and recreation. 

As has been already emphasized elsewhere, the 
work of the Y folk in the Leave Area was to see 
that the eight days afforded the soldiers there, 
should be days full of beautiful recreation with as 
little of the atmosphere of camp-life as possible. 
There was no "reveille" and no "taps." No one 
blew whistles to attract attention. Men ate out 
of porcelain dishes and slept on real beds with soft 
pillows. Often men declared that they had become 
so accustomed to the army bunks that they were 
forced at first, each night, to rest a little while on 
the floor. 

An extract from a report of Mr. William Steven- 
son to the Commanding Colonel of the Area will 



give some idea as to the nature and scope of the 
Y activities in the Leave Area: 

"On the 17th of January, 1919, Mrs. W. A. Hunton 
and myself took charge of the Casino here and began 
the work which, formerly for white soldiers, had been 
carried on by four women and two men secretaries. 
When we started, we were given the assistance of one 
white (man) secretary. With his help, we carried on the 
work until the 30th of February when we received an- 
other colored secretary at that time the white secretary 
who had been assisting us, was relieved. We then had 
three secretaries, including myself. March 5th we re- 
ceived another man and March 25th two more came. 
April 6th another women came and April 26th, two more 
women. However, Mrs. Hunton who had started the 
work with me left the first of May for Verdun and Mr. 
Bullock who had arrived February 30th, left April 16th 
to go to America. At the close of our work, May 24th, 
we had seven secretaries four men and three women." 

"Our building was opened each morning at 8:45. A 
twenty-minute religious service began at 9 A.M. and this 
was known as 'Start the Day Right Service.' Breakfast 
then began and was served till about noon. This meal 
consisted of one of the following meats: sausage, ham, 
or chops, eggs, pancakes with molasses and butter, hot 
biscuits, crullers and chocolate or coffee. All of this was 
sold at cost. Refreshments ice cream, pies, pudding, 
cakes and crullers with chocolate or lemonade were on 
sale afternoons from four until about 5:30. Free refresh- 
ments were served three times a week at night and al- 
ways to entertainers and educators, whether from the 
army or the Young Men's Christian Association. A re- 
ception with free refreshments was always tendered out- 
going troops. At many of these we served more than a 
hundred men. During each of these receptions a strong 
moral or patriotic talk was made by some of the secre- 



taries, and I have seen men go away with tears in their 
eyes. A special lunch, at the cost of one franc was put 
up for outgoing men, but men without money were often 
furnished a lunch just the same as others. Every Sunday 
afternoon at four o'clock we served free tea and cake 
assisted by the French ladies of the village, who kindly 
volunteered their services. This afternoon tea, during 
which there was violin and piano music, was always 
crowded by the men." 

Athletics. Every morning from ten until twelve, ath- 
letic exercises, indoors or outdoors (according to the 
weather) were conducted and very liberally patronized. 
Baseball, Y ball, volley ball and tennis were very 
popular; the three billiard tables were always kept busy. 
Saturday was given to athletics; that is, the full day. 
However, men desiring to go to the Black Madonna, Mt. 
St. Michael or the Cascades were always accommodated. 

Excursions, Hikes, etc. The following trips were taken : 
Sunday, hike to the Black Madonna; about an hour and 
forty minutes round trip. Monday, trip to Cat Mountain 
and Hannibal's Pass, by tram and on foot; about three 
hours' hike. All day trip. Tuesday, trip to Aix-les- 
Bains and Mt. Revard; all-day trip, tram and railroad. 
Wednesday, Black Madonna. Thursday, hike to the Cas- 
cades of Doria, about same distance as Black Madonna. 
Friday, trip to Lake Bourget and Hautecombe Abbey; all 
day trip by tram and boat. These excursions, hikes, etc., 
proved to ?>e of great value in an educational way. The 
men were not only anxious to get the Aix-les-Bains Sou- 
venir, which explained the various places and things but 
a great many took notes. 

Amusements, etc. A band concert was given two to 
three times each week in the afternoon in the garden, 
and on the nights of the same days a band concert and 
vaudeville. Entertainments vaudeville, etc., sent by the 
Y, at the beginning twice a week; later, during May, 



1. By an old Chapel. 2. En route to Hautecombe Abbey. 3. Playing 

Billiards. 4. On the train for Hannibal's Pass. 5. On the Grounds at 



by the Army and the Y, two to five times each week. 
Movies, four to six times each week. 

Religious, etc. Service every Sunday morning at 
eleven o'clock which a secretary, sent from Aix-les-Bains, 
conducted. Also a service every Sunday evening at 
eight o'clock, which was conducted by the Chaplain. 

Educational, etc. A speaker was sent from Aix-les- 
Bains once a week, who delivered a talk, illustrated or 
otherwise on something of educational value. Also talks 
on patriotism, thrift, clean-living, etc., were given by one 
of our secretaries to all outgoing troops, and each night 
notice of the activities of the week were given, during 
which hints on clean living, conduct, etc., were given. 

Reception to Civilians. On March 12th a reception 
was given the civilians of Challes-les-Eaux. This was 
held in the open and the Mayor, by pre-arrangement, 
made an address to the soldiers and civilians, responses 
to which were made by Mrs. Hunton and your humble 
servant, all of which were interpreted. On this day a 
band concert was rendered by the 803rd Pioneer Infantry 
Band, and the school children, who were brought in a 
body by their teachers, were served refreshments. 

Photographs. Probably five thousand francs' worth of 
photographs of the soldiers in various places and poses, 
were taken by special arrangement with as many as three 
photographers. All photographs were sold at cost and 
the demand always exceeded the supply. 

Transportation. In order to prevent the men from 
arising at an unnecessarily early hour and for the purpose 
of always getting them back in time for the evening meal 
we chartered special trams, the cost of which amounted 
to between three and four thousand francs. This ar- 
rangement, which was put into effect in March, enabled 
us to move when we desired. 



Food, etc. Besides the secretaries, we had about 
thirteen French people, in the kitchen, etc., among them 
being a chef, whose special duty was to prepare pastries, 
ice cream, etc. 

Literature. We had two racks made in which liter- 
ature pamphlets, etc., were daily displayed. These were 
of a religious, moral, patriotic nature and were very 
popular. Outgoing men were furnished with free read- 
ing matter magazines, etc. 

Information, etc. We had a lady at the information 
desk, and a lady in the coat room sewed on buttons and 
made minor repairs for the men. 

All trams bearing new men were met by one of the 
secretaries, who sought out the non-commissioned officers 
or men in charge, introduced them to all the secretaries, 
and extended, through them, a hearty welcome to all their 

Every day when new men came in the hotels were 
visited at supper time and announcements of the week's 
program made while the men were eating. 

Conduct, etc. It was an exceedingly rare thing to 
hear any of the men use immoral or profane language 
in the building. We co-operated with the military police 
in every way possible, even requesting the Mayor to 
rid the village of some immoral women. The military 
police reported that they had very little trouble with 
our men, and the Mayor's letter, together with others 
from the various hotel-keepers, etc., is strong evidence 
of the truth of their statement. 

Conferences. Our ability to do the work we did was 
due largely to the fact that every day at noon we held 
a conference with all the secretaries, each of which began 
with scripture reading and prayer. 

Just here it might be interesting to read a trans- 
lation of one of the letters written by the Mayor of 



Challes-les-Eaux, with reference to colored sol- 
diers on leave there. After four wonderful months 
in the Leave Area, where we came to know every 
variety of colored soldier in France, we were sent 
to the devastated area that had been the front. 
Just as we were leaving, a messenger met us 
at the tram and handed us a letter that was so 
unexpected as to surprise us, but of which we 
were tremendously proud. It is impossible to 
reveal the real spirit of this letter in a translation, 
but this letter, similar to one given to Mr. Steven- 
son, expresses the feeling of the French people 
for our men as they lived in their hotels and moved 
in their midst. The following is the letter trans- 
lated into English: 

The Mayor of Challes-les-Eaux, Savaie, to 
the Lady Directress of the Y. M. C. A. 

Madame: In the name of the population of Challes- 
les-Eaux I thank you very much for the pleasure at your 
many entertainments. Give thanks to your very good 
amateur artists. 

You have won the admiration of the population for 
the care that you have not ceased to give these black 
soldiers, who are wonderful children, with generous 
hearts, a spirit of good comradeship, possessing also a 
French trait that of loving and making themselves be- 

Touched by the welcome which is given them, their 
hearts are wounded because they cannot fraternize with 
their white comrades as they do with us, and they regret 
not to be able to express to us more than a promise to 
return to France, the country of fraternity. 



We retain the best memories of their sojourn with 
us, where no incident has occurred to mar our relations. 
We are pleased with their good record. 

We ask you to convey the greetings of the people 
of Challes-les-Eaux to their dear families and beg that 
they will accept our fondest regard and our sympathetic 

I wish to render to Madame Directress my perfect ap- 
preciation. PERROLIFE, Mayor. 
April 27, 1919. 

Always the French were kind, courteous and 
understanding and expressed again and again their 
admiration and sympathy for our soldiers. 

Two or three of the hikes taken by our men were 
so full of historic interest as to be worthy of a 
brief description. None afforded quite so much 
fun as that to Mt. Revard. Breakfast at seven and 
an eight o'clock start on the little steam tram to 
Chambery was the order. At Chambery the train 
was taken for Aix-les-Bains. There a half day was 
given to seeing the places of interest already de- 
scribed, and for lunch. At 12.30 all assembled at 
the Mt. Revard station to ascend on the cog railway. 
Any description of the ever-changing and widen- 
ing view of the ascent fails in its attempt to give a 
real idea of the beauty, splendor or majesty of 
the scenery as they in turn reveal themselves. More 
than five thousand feet the train climbs, stopping 
for a moment at two stations where the natives sell 
apples and give away smiles and good cheer. 

On the top the whole snow-clad Alpine system is 
in view. One sees the whole Bernese Oberland sys- 



1. Serving Literature. 2. On the Veranda. 3. At Play. 4. In the 
Library. 5. At the Cascades after a Hike. 


tern and Mt. Blanc, almost fifty miles away, seems 
but a good hike distant on a clear day. But the 
real fun comes with the coasting, skiing and other 
snow sports for Mt. Revard is snow clad most of 
the year. The train descends steeply at many 
places, but it has been a rare day that men will 
recount to their children and grand-children, so 
no one seems afraid. "Overseas" songs in joyful 
strain fill the echoing caves and crevices and float 
out on the lake as the day closes and the train 
returns them to Aix-les-Bains. 

Lake Bourget, the largest and most beautiful of 
French lakes, offered another happy day. First, 
by train to Bordeau or to Aix-les-Bains, thence by 
boat out on Lake Bourget. We ride across its 
shimmering surface and fathomless depth; moun- 
tains surround it on all sides and are reflected in 
all their glory on the lovely water of this lake. We 
are told that although it is in the region of snow 
and ice it never freezes, because of an undercurrent 
or springs of hot water. On the mountain 
sides, no matter how steep, one sees vineyards 
vineyards almost everywhere. Chateaux or 
villas lend added charm to the scene. Among these 
one sees one called the Maison du Diable house 
of the devil with a strange tradition attached to 
it. One sees also the Hotel du Bois di Lamartine 
so named because it is located in a grove named 
for the poet Lamartine. It was there he found 
inspiration for many of his poems, including "Le 
Lac." The Chateau St. Gilles and the Chateau 
Chatillon, in which one of the popes of Rome was 

12 175 


born are also to be seen. But the dominating archi- 
tecture of Lake Bourget is Hautecombe Abbey, 
with its octagonal towers and many windows toward 
which our steamer makes its way. 

Hautecombe Abbey was founded in 1125 by 
some Benedictine monks who, inspired by Saint 
Bernard of Clairvaux, decided to change to the 
Cistercian Order. The Abbey has, with the rest of 
Savoie, seen many vicissitudes as a result of wars, 
but for nearly seven hundred years it remained 
in the hands of the Cistercians. When the French 
Revolution came, the monks fled and the Abbey 
passed into the hands of the nation for a time. 
Through all the preceding centuries it had been 
the burial place for the House of Savoie. Finally, 
in 1824, it was bought at private expense by 
Charles Felix, Duke of Savoie, who was also King 
of Sardinia. He at once proceeded to have restored 
this burial place of his ancestors and to put in 
charge again some monks of the Cistercian Order. 
Again, in 1860, the Abbey went into the hands of 
France, but by special treaty in 1862, it was made 
the private property of Victor Emmanuel II and 
is now the property of the present King of Italy. 

The most historic part of the Abbey is the beau- 
tiful Gothic church. Many chapels with massive 
tombs of Italian royalty are to be found. Some 
of them are of the finest Carrara marble as is also 
the beautiful Pieta, by Cacciatori. The dome is 
decorated with paintings of great interest and 
value. There is a wonderful hand carved organ 
and paintings by famous artists over the chancel. 



In every little niche may be seen little statues of 
weeping women, some five hundred of them and 
all different. Much history, tradition and mys- 
tery link themselves to all that one sees in the 

Next is shown a Royal Suite that was fitted up 
in 1825 for Charles Felix and Marie Christine. 
Everything is well preserved. Visitors, and espe- 
cially women, are not admitted to the part of the 
Monastery occupied by the monks. Each time we 
made this trip, we were somehow moved by the 
sight of hundreds of khaki-clad soldiers making 
their way quietly through this old Abbey. 

Every schoolboy has heard how Hannibal 
crossed the Alps, so that a day's outing to Hanni- 
bal's Pass, although it involved much hiking, was 
always a popular one. The men would go by tram 
again to the little fishing village of Bordeau on Lake 
Bourget, then ascend the Cat Mountain to a pass 
that opens into the valley of the Rhone. Standing 
among these wonderful Alps a Y man would 
repeat the story of the hero of Carthage who, more 
than two centuries before the birth of Christ, had 
climbed with his army to this Pass and then de- 
scended into Italy. He would tell how he suffered 
great loss of men and much hardship but how he 
was a determined foe of the Romans and so fought 
them unto death. 

Our own favorite hike was that which took us 
southward from Challes-les-Eaux, along the main 
road with the mountains on either side and in front 
of us past the ruins of a picturesque chapel, 



destroyed by Napoleon Bonaparte when he, too, 
crossed the Alps; up the hill to the little village of 
Myans resting at the foot of Mount Granier. For 
all of the four miles from Challes-les-Eaux to 
Myans, the life one looks upon seems to have 
moved not one pace forward for many centuries. 
Ancient customs in life and houses make up the 
picture and yet withal one finds a charming hos- 
pitality native to these people so far removed from 
the hurry and fret of life. But we hiked those four 
miles to visit the Church of Myans with its Black 
Madonna that has reposed there for so many cen- 
turies, and has become a famous place of pilgrim- 
age for many French people. Much of tradition 
and history wraps itself around the Black 
Madonna. Many years ago a landslide came to 
this section. One looks up and sees how absolutely 
bare it has left one side of Mt. Granier. We are 
told that the landslide destroyed everything except 
the church even a part of it was destroyed, but 
the Black Madonna and the praying monks at its 
altar were not hurt. This Madonna that in all 
probability came from Spain, is one of the few of 
its kind saved in the general destruction of the 
Black Madonnas as ordered by Napoleon. The 
Virgin and child are life size and wrought out of 
black ebony. Her robe is of gold and on her head 
is a crown in which are embedded priceless jewels. 
She is very sacred to the villagers and to all of 
Catholic faith. One finds there many photographs 
and relics left by pilgrims who have come for 
healing. But the chief interest to us lay in the 



finely chiseled black faces of mother and child to 
whom so many devoutly kneel. 

Eight days filled with hikes, such as we have 
described, games, entertainments of various kinds 
and music always at hand, were usually sufficient 
to re-invigorate the soldier and send him away glad 
and grateful for abundant life, lovely nature and 
warm-hearted friends. The Y folk worked hard 
to strike a high note for the future of these soldiers 
by teaching them how to rightly interpret and use 
their wonderful "overseas" experience. 

Just here may we say that with both Mrs. Curtis 
and Mrs. Hunton were associated the finest types 
of Y men to be found in France. Mr. William 
Stevenson, who had done such valuable work at 
Montoir, brought to the Leave Area, all his fine 
ideals, which, with his hard work and pleasant 
manners, gave him great success. Mr. Matthew 
Bullock, who had gone over the top with the 15th 
New York, because of his football fame at Dart- 
mouth, was well known to the soldiers. His strong 
helpful personality also counted for much in the 
lives of the men who visited the Leave Area. There 
was Mr. Henry Dunn who had come over from 
the army and who conducted the hikes. We have 
never since met a man who was at Challes-les-Eaux 
that he has not asked for Mr. Dunn. Messrs. 
Watkins and Shockley, just as fine and energetic 
and beloved by the men, formed the group working 
at Challes-les-Eaux. At Chambery Mr. William 
Anderson was not only business manager, but 
the sympathetic, understanding friend of all. 



There were also Mr. Scroggins, who hiked with 
the men and who will ever live in their mem- 
ory; Lieut. Carrie Moore, who having done suc- 
cessful boy's work for the International Com- 
mittee of the Young Men's Christian Association 
in the United States, came over from the army to 
give the benefit of his knowledge to the Y in France, 
and Messrs. Kindal and Parks, who did such 
successful athletic work. All these men gave the 
very best in them to the soldiers who came under 
their care in the Leave Area. 

It was a kind providence that sent Captain 
Arthur Spingarn to the Leave Area. The true 
friend of the colored people in the United States, 
he was no less so as a soldier in France. Thor- 
oughly fine in spirit and personality, he was at 
all times an inspiration and help to the colored 
secretaries working under his guidance. 

The Leave Area is but a memory, but it is a 
beautiful one, linking thousands of soldiers and 
welfare workers in a chain of comradeship that 
cannot be broken. It was the mountain of vision 
and hope in France for those who reached it. It 
was the balm in Gilead. 



Relationships With the French 

THE relationship between the colored soldiers, 
the colored welfare workers, and the French 
people was most cordial and friendly and grew in 
sympathy and understanding, as their association 
brought about a closer acquaintance. It was rather 
an unusual as well as a most welcome experience to 
be able to go into places of public accommodation 
without having any hesitations or misgivings; to 
be at liberty to take a seat in a common carrier, 
without fear of inviting some humiliating experi- 
ence; to go into a home and receive a greeting that 
carried with it a hospitality and kindliness of spirit 
that could not be questioned. 

These things were at once noticeable upon the 
arrival of a stranger within the gates of this sister 
democracy, and the first ten days in France, though 
filled with duties and harassed with visits from 
German bombing planes, were nevertheless a 
delight, in that they furnished to some of us the 
first full breath of freedom that had ever come 
into our limited experience. 

The first post of duty assigned to us was Brest. 
Upon arriving there we received our first experi- 
ence with American prejudices, which had not only 
been carried across the seas, but had become a part 
of such an intricate propaganda, that the relation- 
ship between the colored soldier and the French 
people is more or less a story colored by a con- 



tinued and subtle effort to inject this same preju- 
dice into the heart of the hitherto unprejudiced 

We had gone to this city under protest, because 
we felt that since there were only three colored 
women in France among approximately 150,000 
colored soldiers, that our first duty should be to 
the men at the front, who were without doubt suf- 
fering the greatest hardships. But we were told 
that in this city there was a great need, and that 
we had better serve out a probation here, before 
being sent to the more arduous tasks at the front. 

Imagine our surprise, then, at being told imme- 
diately upon our arrival, that there was no need 
for colored women in that section; that the colored 
men were too rough; that they were almost afraid 
to locate a man among them, to say nothing of a 
woman. We were permitted to tarry, however, a 
few days, during which time we discovered a 
colored Chaplain, the Rev. L. C. Jenkins, of South 
Carolina, who immediately made us welcome, and 
arranged for us to talk to his men. They were 
much grieved when they were frankly told of the 
reputation that had been given them, and assured 
us of every consideration and courtesy if we were 
permitted to remain among them. Every effort 
was put forth to get the office to change its decision 
concerning us, but to no avail. In due time, we 
made our return trip to Paris. 

In talking with the soldiers, however, and ulti- 
mately with the French people, we were told that 



the story of the roughness of the colored men was 
being told to the civilians in order that all pos- 
sible association between them might be avoided. 
They had been systematically informed that their 
dark-skinned allies were not only unworthy of any 
courtesies from their homes, but that they were so 
brutal and vicious as to be absolutely dangerous. 
They were even told that they belonged to a semi- 
human species who only a few years ago had been 
caught in the American forests, and only been 
tamed enough to work under the white American's 

Another ten days in Paris was filled with more 
duties, and more opportunity for contact with the 
French people. We met again the first colored 
woman to arrive in France, and at her suggestion 
and guidance, went to a small hotel in the rue 
d'Antin, where very few Americans were located. 
Here the proprietor and all his assistants were 
smiling and courteous, ever ready to make one 
comfortable, and to give all necessary information 
and many helpful suggestions. 

At this time we were assigned to the 92nd Divi- 
sion, in the Haute Marne region, but the great July 
Offensive started, making it impossible for us to 
get through the lines, so we were told, and we were 
finally assigned to St. Nazaire. Here we were 
very happy to have the opportunity to go where 
we could have the association of our co-worker, 
who had gone there as the pioneer colored woman 
for that section. 



Here, as elsewhere, the French people had been 
informed as to the shortcomings of the colored 
Americans, and among other things had been told 
that they were incapable of becoming officers, and 
leading their own people. In October, 1918, thirty- 
three colored Lieutenants of Artillery landed at 
this port. Upon meeting them on the street, the 
writer informed them of this false impression, 
and requested them to show themselves in the busi- 
ness and residence sections of the city. In one 
shop the proprietor immediately turned to a white 
officer, and remarked that these men wore the 
identical insignia that he had seen on many other 
officers, and that he would thank some one for an 
explanation. When these same men entered the 
French Artillery School, near Vannes, they were 
forbidden to attend entertainments where it was 
thought they would in all probability meet the 
French people. 

Literature was gotten out through the French 
Military Mission and sent to French villages ex- 
plaining how Americans desired the colored officers 
to be treated; that they desired them to receive no 
more attention than was required in the perform- 
ance of their military duties; that to show them 
social courtesies not only would be dangerous, but 
that it would be an insult to the American people. 
The literature was finally collected and ordered 
destroyed by the French Ministry. 4 

In one city, the soldiers informed us, colored 
Americans were confined to certain streets in order 



that their contact with the French people might 
have all possible limitations. 

Following is a copy of an order gotten out, and 
a duplicate preserved: 


A. E. F., FRANCE. 
WARCQ, FRANCE, March 20, 1919. 

Enlisted men of this organization will not talk to or 
be in company with any white women, regardless of 
whether the women solicit their company or not. 

A True Copy, 

This propaganda was spread from the streets of 
the large cities to the topmost peaks of the Alps 
Mountains, away up among the little shepherd 
girls, who knew nothing except what others came 
up to tell them. "Soldat noir-vilain," they re- 
marked to the writer one day, while she sat down to 
gather strength to finish her trip to the little chapel 
whose ruins stood on the highest pinnacle; even 
their minds had been poisoned with the thought 
that "black soldiers were villains." 

These little shepherd girls dwelt in a portion of 
France that was used for a Leave Area. In the 
beginning both white and colored soldiers found 



rest and pleasure in visiting the historic and pic- 
turesque region about Challes-les-Eaux and Cham- 
bery, but later it was set aside by the Y. M. C. A. 
for colored soldiers only. Naturally the inhabi- 
tants were much amazed to find that they were not 
being molested in any way, and toward the close 
of the work the different impressions that were 
being gathered by the French people became almost 
a constant topic of conversation. The teachers and 
proprietors of the hotels came often to converse, 
and some of them helped gratuitously in the per- 
formance of our duties. Many of the children 
came to play upon the lawn of the Y. M. C. A. 
at Challes-les-Eaux, where the writer had charge 
of the woman's work for a period, and the mayor 
came as the official representative of the town, to 
assure us of all good wishes and sympathetic greet- 
ings ; while the mayor at Chambery gave out a pub- 
lic invitation for the colored people to return to 
France and become a part of their civilization. 

Often the staff of secretaries at Challes-les-Eaux 
would be invited to dinner, especially at the 
hotel Chateaubriand, where the hostess and her 
daughter, dressed and smiling, amidst a bower of 
flowers, opened their hearts again and again con- 
cerning their entire satisfaction with the conduct 
of our soldiers, and how different they were from 
their original representation. They had received 
instructions before their coming as to just the man- 
ner in which they should be treated, but they not 
only , found no cause for such instructions, but 



found many characteristics in the colored men 
which were a pleasure and a delight. 

During the victory parade in Paris, no colored 
Americans were permitted to participate, notwith- 
standing the fact that numerous individuals as well 
as organizations had been cited or decorated for 
bravery. This the French people were not able to 
understand, but in due time they learned that it was 
all due to the American policy of discrimination. 
They gradually discovered that the colored Amer- 
ican was not the wild, vicious character that he 
had been represented to be, but that he was kind- 
hearted, genteel and polite. One could frequently 
hear the expression, " soldat noir, tres gentil, tres 
poli" (black soldier very genteel, very polite) ; this 
characteristic appealed greatly to these people who 
have always been noted for their innate politeness. 

The French women were especially kind and 
hospitable to their dark-skinned allies. The writers 
had the pleasure of living in one French home for 
nearly nine months. Here they were treated with 
all courtesy, respect, and almost reverence. One 
of them became ill, and was sick unto death for 
nearly five weeks, during which time the hostess 
called in her own family physician, administered 
the medicine, and nursed her as if she had been 
her own child. 

When the French women learned that the Amer- 
icans were trying to control the social intercourse 
of their homes, they deeply resented it. At one 
time the 92nd Division had issued the following 



1. Group of Colored Officers visiting French family. 2. Mayor, hotel 

proprietors and teachers at Challes-les-Eaux fraternizing with Colored 

Soldiers and Y. M. C. A. Secretaries. 3. Group of French Students 

taken with Colored Soldiers resting while on a hike. 


A. E. F. 


December 26, 1918. 

The special duties with which military police are 
charged are, 

(A) To insure order and proper behavior by enlisted 
men at all times. . . . 

(E) To prevent enlisted men from addressing or hold- 
ing conversation with the women inhabitants of the town. 

(F) To prevent enlisted men from entering any build- 
ing other than their respective billets with the exception 
of stores, places of amusement and cafes. 



Chief of Staff. 

(Signed) EDW. J. TURGEON, 

Major, Infantry, U. S. A. 

When this matter came to the attention of the 
women of the city, the leaders among them formed 
a committee and waited on the French Mission with 
the statement that they were mistresses of their 
own homes and morals, and knew with whom they 
wished to associate, and did not desire American 
officers to interfere with their social affairs. 

Following is an extract from a letter written by 
a French girl to a young man who was located in 
the camp where the writer gave her longest period 
of service: 




Dear Mister : October 21, 1918. 

Your kind letter was welcome. I understand them 
very easily without my dictionary, and I thank you very 
much for the kind feelings you express me. Be not 
anxious about my health, I have recovered now. 

I was very touched by all the sympathy you have 
showed me on this occasion, and I was surprised of it, 
very agreeably. Thank you for your friendship, I am 
happy to give mine in exchange, because I know now 
what is your hard condition. I have spoken to white 
men, and always I have seen the same flash (lightning) in 
their angry eyes, when I have spoken them of colored 
men. But I do not fear them for myself; I am afraid 
of them for you, because they have said me the horrible 
punishment of colored men in America. As I am a 
French girl I have answered, "It is not Christian." I 
am full of pity for your unhappy condition, more still 
when I think you are very intelligent, and you have 
quality of the heart more than many white men. . . . 

When a colored man goes in the house of a white girl, 
the policeman wait for him and kill him when he goes 
away! I have thought this way to do is savage, and it 
is why I was pitiful for the colored man. But I see you 
are not unhappy as I believed, and I am glad of it for 
you. . . . 

I should like to express you how much I am revolted 
of that I have learned of your condition, and how amused 
I am to have heard many injurious opinions of white men 
upon ourselves, French women! I write you in English 
and I cannot express my feelings as well as in French. 

Naturally these "injurious opinions" about the 
French women were resented, not only by the 
women themselves, but the Frenchmen as well. 



The result of this, and other difficulties, was that 
two or three months before the American soldiers 
were out of France, it became generally known that 
the French people were tired of them and wanted 
them out of their country. The spirit of dislike 
became so great that sometimes French people 
were overheard saying that if the American soldiers 
had on German uniforms, they could not be told 
from the Huns! And that if they were to judge 
from their actions it would seem that they had a 
desire to treat them in the same manner as they 
treated the colored Americans. 

After the signing of the Armistice there were 
frequent riotings between the American white sol- 
diers and the French people. On the first Sunday 
in April, 1919, the city of St. Nazaire was changed 
from a quiet port city into a tumult of discord, 
during which a number of people were killed and 
wounded. It grew out of the fact that a white 
French woman and a colored Frenchman entered 
a restaurant frequented by American officers, in 
order that they might enjoy their lunch together. 
An insinuating remark concerning the woman was 
overheard by her brother, who understood English, 
and immediately resented it. The restaurant was 
demolished in a free-for-all fight, which grew in 
proportions until the French people mounted a 
machine gun in the middle of the public square, 
to restore order. 

In the city of Nantes a colored French soldier 
was shot by an American Military Policeman, 
under the guise that he thought that the Frenchman 
13 191 


was a colored American deserter disguised in 
French uniform. 

During the writer's period of service at Brest 
there were ever-recurring conflicts, and Camp 
Pontanezen was frequently closed and the soldiers 
not permitted to enter the city. Some of these were 
said to have occurred because of insults offered to 
colored Frenchmen. Rumor had it that these riots 
always resulted in a number of killed and 

In order to substantiate our statement concern- 
ing these conflicts, we wish to quote from Sergeant 
Alexander Woolcott's article in the October, 1919, 
issue of the North American Review:* 

"Whatever turn is taken by international politics dur- 
ing the next two years, whatever the official post bellum 
relation between Washington and the government in 
France, the degree of understanding and the nature of 
the sentiment existing between our people and the French 
is going to be of incalculable importance in shaping the 
twentieth century. It is going to give the true validity 
to whatever doctrine our ministers may from time to 
time endorse. 

"That is why it is worth while to look back over the 
A. E. F., and by so doing, to measure and search for 
the causes of mutual rancor which developed between 
the French people and our troops the rancor which 
broke out here and there in riots, as at Brest; which made 
the irritated army of occupation lean over backwards in 
their affability towards the Rhinelanders ; which moved 
Le Rire to some caustic cartoons at the expense of the 
A. E. F.; and which poured into our astonished ports a 

* By permission of North American- Review. 



stream of returning doughboys all muttering under their 
breaths a disparagement of the 'French Frogs.' 5 

"Perhaps it would be well first to consider two rather 
fixed delusions on the subject. For one thing, stay-at- 
home Americans have, quite pardonably, come to the 
easy conclusion that all the rancor could be explained 
by overcharging. ... As a matter of fact, the amount 
of overcharging was slight, astonishingly slight, when 
one considers that there were more than two million 
spendthrift Americans in France, far from home, over- 
paid, irresponsible, and loose in an impoverished 
country. It is against the nature of the French peasant 
or shopkeeper to go in all at once for resourceful profi- 
teering, just as it is against his nature to part lightly 
with a sou on which he has once laid his thrifty hands. 
Furthermore, both the French government and the 
American Army were vigilant in the matter, so that the 
doughboy was not despoiled with half the unscrupulous- 
ness that would have been practised among his own 
people certainly no more than is the average lot of 
the expeditionary soldier, anywhere under the sun. . . . 

"Then, too, there was 1 the delusion from which the 
French government suffered the notion that the whole 
source of bad feeling was the friction between the French 
and American staffs. There was such friction, and during 
the first few weeks of the Armistice the staff officers of the 
Third Army were on edge with irritation at the neighbor- 
ing French command. . . . 

"I think that if the dislike developed on one side before 
the other, the first appearance can be traced to a certain 
disdain for the French which the outspoken Americans 
were only too wont to display. To the resulting friction 
a hundred and one things contributed, of which high 
prices constituted the least little things, like the French 
truck driver's enraging habit of driving dreamily in the 
middle of the road; big things, like the French street 
walker's unprejudiced habits of accepting the Negro's at- 
tentions as affably as a white man's" 



It is interesting to note the comment of an Eng- 
lish paper upon the mutual rancor which so unfor- 
tunately developed, and which must have some 
bearing upon the future relationship between the 
French and the American people. The following 
significant excerpt is from the London Saturday 
Review of June 28, 1919:* 

"No one at this or any other time should write, or 
even say things likely to create international ill-feeling, 
but facts' will not be ignored. There are indeed certain 
truths, which, like mushrooms, grow best in the dark. It 
is not only absurd, it is also in the long run contrary to 
international good will, to ignore the fact that Americans 
are not as popular in Paris to-day as they were twelve 
months ago. There can be surely no harm in discussing 
publicly what everyone privately knows. . . . 

"At the present moment the Americans are regarded by 
the ordinary Parisian as a barbarian nation, and the 
prospects of beholding them rejoice on July 4th, possibly 
on a large scale, already fills him with apprehension and 
disgust. The nation which a year ago was the most 
popular nation in Europe, has become in Paris a burden 
almost too grievous to be borne. The other evening we 
heard a lady whose profession brings her into rather 
close contact with the American soldiers and minor diplo- 
matists in Paris, proclaim amid general assent, that the 
Americans are at the best children and that at the worst 
they are brutes. We are not subscribing to this opinion, 
we are merely recording that it was passed. The Amer- 
icans could not avoid being unpopular in Paris. The 
mere fact that they came late into the war, and that the 
importance of their share in the peace negotiations is 
out of all proportion to their sacrifices, is in any event 
a difficult matter to discount or obscure. . . . 

* By permission of The Worlfs Work. 


"Socially the Americans in Paris are in the position 
of a man staying in the house of a friend, and forced to 
behave much as though the house were his own. It is 
even worse than that. We have to consider that the 
man who thus stays in the house of his friend, and 
behaves just as though it were his own, has in effect, 
a mortgage on the house. We are most of us the debtors 
of America, and France not least of all. The American 
army in Paris may almost be described as the man in 
possession, and there is no possibility of avoiding him. 
It was an unlucky decision to make Paris an American 
military headquarters. The wild west sprawls in the 
restaurants, and patrols the grand boulevards. The 
American army could no more be popular in Paris than 
the Canadians could be popular in Epsom. When on 
top of the military invasion of Paris there came an 
American delegation 1,400 strong, filling the air with 
principles and viewpoints, and amusing itself loudly and 
continuously, not the most civilized president in the 
world could quite cover with his professional mantle 
the nakedness of his countrymen. 

"All of this would be of merely passing interest were 
it not for the peculiar position which America will occupy 
for the next thirty years. What is happening in Paris 
will happen on a large scale in Europe as soon as peace 
is signed. During the war America has become the 
creditor of the civilized world. Her chief problem will 
be how to spend the money she has made. She is so 
rich that she has begun to be alarmed for her foreign 
trade, for it is impossible for Dives to trade with Lazarus 
unless Lazarus can be induced to borrow the necessary 
capital to set himself up in business. Whatever ultimate 
arrangements are made it is fairly clear that America 
will have more money than she knows what to do with, 
and that Europe will be, to an extent unknown before, 
an American playground and Europe will hate it to-mor- 
row as Paris hates it to-day." 



For a period of time many of the colored fight- 
ing troops were brigaded with the French troops, 
which brought them into very close contact with the 
French life. As has been noted in another chapter, 
four regiments, those that were to have composed 
the 93rd Division, became a part of French Divi- 
sions of Infantry. It is interesting to note that by 
far the greatest majority of colored soldiers or 
organizations that were cited or decorated for 
bravery were these troops, and that the decorations 
were with few exceptions French and not American. 
It is also interesting to note that the regiment from 
Illinois, under command of colored officers, was 
awarded 30 Croix de Guerre decorations for 
officers, and 38 for non-commissioned officers and 
privates, while only 3 officers received the Amer- 
ican Distinguished Service Cross, and 19 non-com- 
missioned officers and privates. These colored 
officers have many happy recollections of the over- 
flowing appreciation of the French people. 

Certificates of good behavior secured by these 
troops show that the towns and villages through 
which they passed or in which they were billeted 
found no cause for complaint; that they came in 
an orderly manner and left in the same way. The 
same can be said of the thousands of labor troops 
and engineers who built the roads, unloaded the 
ships, laid telephone wires, built warehouses, and 
handled supplies. 

Finally, we can happily say that it was a pleasure 
to note that the relationship between the colored 
American and the Frenchman grew in cordiality 


1. French Sergeants fraternizing with Colored American Sergeants. 

2. and 3. Colored Soldiers and the French children. 4. Two colored 

Sergeants visiting in French home. 


and friendliness until a strong, and we hope, last- 
ing bond was established between them. They 
were made welcome guests in the homes of the 
wealthy and cultured, as well as in the most 
humble. The understanding ear of the colored 
man seemed attuned to the French language, and 
he learned more quickly than others, it seemed, 
how to converse with this romantic people. The 
French people are affectionate and demonstrative, 
which corresponds to the deep emotional spirit 
which seems the heritage of the colored American. 
The colored soldiers were naturally musical, and 
many of them sang with a wonderful penetrating 
pathos, or with notes that brought forth joy that 
was unconfined; others were talented and accom- 
plished pianists. These things appealed deeply to 
the artistic soul of our French comrades. 

The variety of color among them interested the 
Frenchman much as the light and shade in a pic- 
ture, or the coloring in the drapery in his store 
windows, or in the birds that flitted about in his 
mountain fastnesses. He admired the way they 
fought, and the way they performed without mur- 
muring their tasks at the dock, on the railroads, or 
in the warehouses. He loved them because they 
did all these things with a song of joy, though per- 
haps with a crucifixion of spirit; and with all 
earnestness and genuine desire he invited them to 
come again, that the relationship thus begun might 
grow in strength and beauty and mutual helpful- 


Take fast hold of instruction, let her not go: keep 
her; for she is thy life. Proverbs 4:13. 



r I "'HE chief educational work to be done among 
A the colored troops overseas was that of teaching 
them to read and write, as large numbers were 
unable to sign the payroll. These men were drafted 
into the army often without regard to age or 
physical fitness. One man from Texas, upon de- 
livering a company of men to a lieutenant whom 
he thought to be white, remarked that he had 
brought him a good bunch of Negroes, and had 
plenty more down there if he wanted them. At 
first, he said, they took all the men who had just 
purchased little farms, so that the property would 
soon return to the original owners, and then they 
just went out through the country and gathered 
them up everywhere, so that they could get their 
full quota without sending their white boys. Of 
course, he said, the Negroes didn't know any better 
and just thought they had to come. 

This shows the dense ignorance that existed in 
no small degree among them, and many of them 
knew only one name, didn't know when nor where 
they were born, and couldn't tell the time of day. 
This ignorance was not all confined to the colored 
men, however. One white captain remarked pub- 
licly that he had white men in his battalion who 
were equally ignorant, and that upon asking one 
man where he was born, his reply was "Toons 
County," which was the limit of his knowledge 
concerning the matter. 



In Camp Lusitania, St. Nazaire, France, there 
were 9,000 colored stevedores, and out of this 
number 1,100 could not write their names, and a 
large per cent, of the remainder had only mediocre 
training. On the other hand, some were college 
graduates and undergraduates, and were of great 
value to those who undertook the task of teaching 
the large number of illiterates. They readily vol- 
unteered their assistance, and took great pains with 
their unfortunate comrades, helping them in school 
and out to get the amount of training that the 
limited facilities offered. 

The writer, during her nine months' period of 
service at Camp Lusitania, gave most of her time 
to this kind of work, and while it was difficult, the 
gratitude of the men fully compensated her for 
all the trouble. Upon first entering the camp, there 
was no provision made to assist in reaching these 
men, or ascertaining who they were. The Y. M. 
C. A. had furnished a large number of books, 
which were piled away in the hut unused. These 
books were taken and a request made at the cinema 
for all who desired training in English to manifest 
it by remaining in their seats at the close of the 
show. In this way we were able to reach a large 
number, and through them others could be reached, 
so that in time the work grew until the writer's 
entire time was consumed in teaching and directing 
the work. 

One man told how his parents had died when he 
was quite young, and that he was afterwards bound 
out to a white family to herd cattle for fifty cents 



a week. He wanted to go to school so badly that 
he slipped off and went two days, when the man for 
whom he worked found it out and beat him so that 
he never went back any more. He said he had a 
wife from whom he had not heard since he had 
been in France, but that he couldn't read her letters 
anyway, and he was not expecting her to write. 
He worked very hard, however, and in time was 
able to write well and read third grade reading 
matter. One day he came in joyfully and said he 
had written his wife a letter and had gotten a reply. 
This, no doubt, was a wonderful day in his life, 
when he had acquired sufficient knowledge to make 
himself understood in a written communication. 
At times their gratitude was most pathetic, and one 
man had tears in his eyes as he told the writer how 
he had been so anxious to learn, but had been 
ashamed to let her know that he couldn't write 
his name, and had hesitated a long time before 
he finally decided to come. 

To learn to write one's name seems an easy 
matter, but some of these men would try patiently 
for an hour or so and the letters would have no 
form, nor resemble in any way the characters they 
were trying to make. Then the instructor would 
take each great rough hand in her own and help 
the soldier to trace the form of the letter so that 
he would get an idea of how to go about making 
the first curve of his initial. When he would 
finally master the first initial of his name he would 
be so delighted that he would go to his barracks 
and make all the boys whom he knew give him 



assistance, so that in a day or two one could realize 
that he was making splendid progress. 

This kind of work went on without much diffi- 
culty until the Armistice was signed; at this time 
every soldier became doubly sure that he was going 
home "toute de suite" (at once) ; and to add 
impetus to an already bad situation, their colonel 
got up in the auditorium and told them that they 
would all eat Christmas dinner at home. This 
completely demoralized the work until after the 
holidays. By this time they had all concluded that 
they were going to remain in France a while any- 
way, and some began to say that they would be 
glad if they were able to eat dinner at home the 
next Christmas. 

By the beginning of the new year the army 
decided to take a hand in the educational work, 
and through its chaplains force all illiterates to 
attend school. This brought the entire 1,100 at 
Camp Lusitania to the Y. M. C. A. hut to receive 
instruction. All of them could not be reached at 
one time, but two or three hundred could be 
crowded into the class rooms twice a day, so that 
every two days the entire number would be reached. 
The writer would teach them en masse, first from 
the blackboard, having them follow her in sounding 
the letters, pronouncing the words, and giving the 
diacritical markings; then from a small booklet 
called "English Reading Lessons," provided by 
the Educational Commission of the Army and 
Navy Y. M. C. A. These booklets, containing 
twenty lessons drawn from the soldiers' experience 



in routine camp life and drilling, would be fur- 
nished by the hundreds, free, so that every man 
could have a book. After they had all read the 
lesson in concert, the volunteer teachers, about 
twenty-five all told, would each address himself to 
a group of the men, and hear them read individu- 
ally. In this way each man could get a small 
amount of individual attention. 

One day, by some means, Mr. Ferguson, the hut 
secretary, found a French mimeograph machine at 
the Y. M. C. A. warehouse. It was the only one, 
it seemed, in the entire section. The writer, after 
many trials and failures, learned to use it, and with 
the assistance of Private Stokes and one or two 
others, was able to make a large number of copies 
of written sentences. These would be taken by 
Chaplains Hodges, Jefferson, and their assistants, 
including Reverend McCoomer, whom the army 
had appointed to do educational and religious 
work. They would be distributed among the men 
in the class room, pencils given them free, and 
every man would labor earnestly to learn to write ; 
then the men would be permitted to take the copies 
to their barracks, where they would practice during 
their leisure moments. 

The mimeograph was also used to furnish prob- 
lems in numbers to the men who were learning 
to make figures, add and subtract. After having 
a lesson from the blackboard, they would take the 
papers to their barracks, solve their problems, and 
bring them in the next day for correction. Mr. 
Julius Rosenwald visited Camp Lusitania during 



the year, and left two hundred dollars to be used 
for the benefit of the soldiers there. An automo- 
bile school was finally established and a number 
of the soldiers took advantage of the training. In 
the white camps much industrial training was 
introduced, and no small amount of attention given 
to higher education as well. 

The Y. M. C. A. made ample provision for the 
purpose of giving the soldiers the opportunity to 
learn French. French professors were employed 
to visit each hut at stipulated hours, where the 
men would be taught en masse, the rudiments of 
conversational French. Small books published for 
the express purpose were put without cost into the 
hands of each man who had a desire to learn, and 
very few of them could be found after a few lessons 
and a little contact with the French people, who 
could not readily make themselves understood with 
regard to small matters that concerned their every- 
day life. 

About the first of April, 1919, the Army de- 
cided to take over the entire educational work of 
the Y. M. C. A., and invited the educational secre- 
taries, the writer included, to leave the organiza- 
tion and come over to the army. It promised to 
carry out the original contract made by the Y. M. 
C. A., and give them the rank and uniform of an 
officer. Eight colored men accepted this offer and 
went into the army. They were Mr. J. C. Wright, 
formerly of Tuskegee Institute, Mr. F. 0. Nichols, 
of Philadelphia, Mr. Benjamin F. Hubert, State 
College, Orangeburg, S. C., Mr. William Nelson, 



A. & T. College, Greensboro, N. C., Mr. Joseph L. 
Whiting, Tuskegee Institute, Mr. Thomas Clayton, 
Piqua, Ohio, Mr. W. H. Crutcher, A. & M. College, 
Tallahassee, and Mr. George W. Jackson, Louis- 
ville, Ky. Of this number Mr. J. C. Wright was 
appointed Supervisor of Instruction for colored 
troops and Lecturer in Civics; Mr. F. 0. Nichols, 
Lecturer in Civics, and Mr. Benjamin F. Hubert, 
Supervisor of Agricultural Instruction among the 
colored troops. 

These men were attached to the staff of the Uni- 
versity of Beaune. As Supervisor of Instruction, 
Mr. Wright was well qualified, being a graduate of 
Oberlin College, Dean of Tallahassee Normal 
School, and having done splendid work as a Y. M. 
C. A. secretary at Camp One, Hut 5, St. Nazaire. 
Here he found a large number of men from the 
301st Stevedore Regiment, one of the largest mili- 
tary organizations in France, and among them the 
first colored American soldiers to land on French 
soil. About 30 per cent, of these men were illiter- 
ate. On the contrary, a number of them were 
college trained men, having been engaged in pro- 
fessional and business pursuits. 

Mr. Wright undertook the task of preparing 
these men to go back to civilian life with at least 
the rudiments of an English education. His first 
method was to get men who could not read and 
write to voluntarily attend classes scheduled at the 
Y. M. C. A. hut; but this was quite a difficult 
matter, for after ten or twelve hours' work on the 
dock, the men were usually too tired to do anything 



that was not compulsory. Then he succeeded in 
getting it made a military duty for all men who 
could not sign the payroll to attend class three 
nights in a week for a certain period. This plan 
was successful only to a limited degree, as com- 
pulsion was left largely with company com- 
manders, who were not entirely in sympathy with 
the idea. They contended that the army was no 
place for a man to make up for his lost school 
advantages, and some said it was too much to re- 
quire such a duty of tired, hard-working troops; 
but too anxious and determined to be discouraged, 
the effort was continued, and after much advertis- 
ing and several large public meetings held in the 
interest of the work, there were over five hundred 
men who enrolled for class work. Of this number 
328 were actually taught by volunteer teacher- 
soldiers. One sergeant compelled the thirty illiter- 
ates of his company to attend school every night 
there were classes being taught; and after eight 
weeks all but nine could sign the payroll, and many 
of them, men still in the morning of their manhood, 
received such an inspiration as to give them a 
desire to enter school after their return to the States, 
and it is known to be true that some of them are 
at this moment enrolled in different schools and 
receiving instruction. 

Mr. Wright, together with his colleagues, Mr. 
Nichols and Mr. Hubert, as members of the staff 
of the University of Beaune, were sent out singly 
and as a team to lecture and hold institutes in the 
different sections of France where colored troops 



1. Captain D. K. Cherry. 2. Secretary Walter X. Nelson. 3. Secretary 
William H. Crutcher. 4. Secretary Benjamin F. Hubert and group of 
students in attendance at Universities in Paris. 5. Secretary Joseph 
L. Whiting. 6. Secretary George W. Jackson. 7. Secretary John 
C. Wright. 


were located. It is estimated by them that they 
reached as many as twenty thousand men, and im- 
pressed them with the importance of community 
co-operation and collective effort in bettering the 
conditions in the neighborhoods where their civic 
lots would be cast; also with the importance of 
buying land and taking advantage of the industrial 
opportunities which the war had brought about. 

The other five members of the colored army edu- 
cational corps did local work. Mr. J. L. Whiting, 
who had formerly been educational secretary at 
Camp Montoir, near St. Nazaire, and who had al- 
ready done splendid work, went back to his original 
field of labor. Here in September, 1918, he began 
with an enrollment of forty, in classes in reading, 
writing, arithmetic, and civics. By April, 1919, 
the enrollment, with the assistance of the new com- 
pulsory rule of the army, had increased to 868, 
with 19 soldiers detailed to assist in the work. He 
found that there were more than 1,000 troops 
below the fourth grade, who would be glad of an 
opportunity to attend school, and that there were 
in every company of colored troops as many as 
30 men who were unable to sign the payroll. Mr. 
Whiting accomplished wonderful results in spite 
of the handicap of no books, no suitable accom- 
modations, and for a considerable time no regularly 
detailed teachers. 

He set writing copies for all of these men with 
his own hand, taking their work home each day and 
reviewing and criticising it. He held classes in 
the mess halls, many times cold and damp and with 

14 207 


no lights except that which could be gotten by the 
use of candles ; and by the close of the work he had 
not only done much towards wiping out the X (his 
mark) sign from the payroll, but had given them 
sufficient foundation for the acquiring of a fair 

Mr. George W. Jackson had been assigned by 
the Y. M. C. A. to be Educational Director at Is-sur- 
Tille. Here he found about 15,000 colored sol- 
diers hailing from Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, 
Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisi- 
ana and Texas. They were S. 0. S. troops, work- 
ing just back of the combat area. Mr. Jackson was 
returned here by the army to complete the work 
started by the Y. M. G. A. During his period of 
service here he learned that about 2,500 of the 
colored soldiers had very limited education or none 
at all. With the assistance of detailed tutors he 
was able to eliminate 90 per cent, of this illiteracy 
in about three months. Most of them learned to 
sign the payroll after about three weeks' instruc- 
tion, and by the time they were demobilized fully 
one-third had written letters to their relatives at 
home. Classes in secondary and college subjects 
were also held, in addition to instruction in French, 
bookkeeping, current topics, and the Bible. 

Mr. Thomas A. Clayton was secretary in charge 
of the educational work at Camp Ancona, near 
Bordeaux, where on January 10 an Army Post 
School was organized. Of 6,987 men in camp at 
this time, 1,378 could not sign the payroll; 1,457 
had had four years' schooling or less; 584 had 



attended high school, and 137 had attended col- 
lege. By the close of the work 367 illiterates had 
learned to write their names. Classes in French 
and the study of the history and literature of the 
French people were also organized, and became 
very popular among the soldiers. 

Special attention was given at this school to the 
teaching of agriculture. A Farmers' Institute was 
held, which had a total attendance of 18,000 in 
three days. The meetings were held under the 
auspices of Dr. H. Paul Douglass, of Syracuse, 
N. Y., and farmers' clubs were organized and a 
special instructor given them. In all classes, in- 
cluding primary and elementary subjects, there 
were 503 students enrolled. 

Mr. W. H. Nelson had been doing educational 
work at Brest under many handicaps. For a long 
time they were unable to get a Y. M. C. A. hut 
completed. In December, 1918, the writers of 
this volume went up from St. Nazaire to visit them. 
They found the staff of two secretaries and a chap- 
lain struggling along as best they could, with no 
floor in a large part of their building and no lights 
except what could be produced by the use of 
numerous candles. They were very happy to see 
some colored women, and brought us a bountiful 
supper from one of the company kitchens. This 
we ate from a small, bare table, by the light of one 
or two flickering candles. Then the writers were 
placed upon a box to elevate them a little, while 
they talked for the encouragement of the soldiers 
who gathered in a small room, which afterwards 



became the school room. The little force of secre- 
taries was badly discouraged because they were 
unable to secure the facilities that had been given 
to other huts, but by dogged determination they 
finally succeeded in finishing a beautiful building 
which was kept immaculately clean in spite of the 
fact that they were never able to secure any women 
secretaries. To this place Mr. Nelson was re- 
turned after he became a member of the army edu- 
cational corps, and continued his work of teaching. 
He had about 1,000 illiterates in the camp whom he 
attempted to reach. Of this number a total of 
372 actually received valuable training. 

In addition to the army's taking over the entire 
educational work of the Y. M. C. A., it provided 
means by which a limited number of graduate 
students would have an opportunity to attend the 
great universities of France and England; at the 
same time it established the American University 
for undergraduates at Beaune, Cote d'Or. This 
school provided facilities for training in all college 
courses as well as vocational and technical subjects, 
and brought over from the States a corps of the 
very best instructors that could be secured. It 
also utilized much of the splendid ability already 
in the army. The French Minister of Education 
loaned the school a corps of experienced French 
teachers, who were supplemented through the 
courtesy of the French Minister of War. 

Post and Division Schools were established in 
connection with the university, the purpose of the 
Division School being to accommodate all who were 



1. J. Douglass Sheppard. 2. James L. Moran. 
4. Ulysses S. Young. 5. Henry L. Marriott. 

3. E. M. Brewington. 

- o- -. ry L,. Marriott. 6. Walter A. Powers. 

7. Milton F. Fields. 8. Ulysses S. Donaldson. 9. Leonard Barnett. 


not qualified to enter the university proper. Here 
were taught vocational courses and academic and 
commercial subjects of high school grades. The 
Post School was composed of those who needed 
elementary training in English, arithmetic, and 
citizenship and of men who were unable to read and 
write the English language. Special provision was 
made for a Post School for colored soldiers with 
colored instructors, but it never materialized. To 
attend the university came 120 colored soldiers 
who matriculated in the College of Arts and Let- 
ters, Agriculture, Science, Journalism, and Music. 
Colored American soldiers from all parts of 
France made application for admission to the 
Foreign Universities. In some places they were 
told that colored soldiers were not allowed to 
attend, and every effort was made to get the young 
officers of the 92nd Division out of France before 
they could make application for the coveted privi- 
lege and thereby embarrass the army. 6 We have 
learned of only one whose application was not re- 
fused, that of Capt. D. K. Cherry of A. & T. Col- 
lege, Greensboro, N. C., who attended the Univer- 
sity of Bordeaux. Several non-commissioned 
officers were admitted, however, and in the Univer- 
sity of London nine matriculated Corporal James 
D. Sheppard, Peoria, 111., Engineering; 1st Sergt. 
Leonard Barnett, Fleming, Ohio, Psychology, Eng- 
lish, and Methods in Education ; Ulysses S. Donald- 
son, Terre Haute, Ind., English Literature; 1st 
Sergt. W. A. Powers, Xenia, Ohio, Music and Phi- 
losophy; 1st Sergt. E. H. Brewington, Salisbury, 



Md., History and Literature; Sergt. U. S. Young, 
Madison, N. J., Philosophy and Psychology; Sergt. 
Milton F. Fields, Des Moines, Iowa; James L. 
Moran, Lancaster, Mass., Astronomy, and Henry 
0. Mariott, of Boley, Okla. 

Four entered the University at Bordeaux, one the 
University of Toulouse, one the University of 
Marseilles, and seven the different universities in 
Paris Charles S. Wilkerson, Phar.D., Pittsburg, 
Pa. ; Charles A. Johnson, Phar.D., Columbia, S. C. ; 
Oscar S. Johnson, B. S., Louisville, Ky. ; Thomas 
Williams, Phar.D., Patterson, La.; George Wash- 
ington Mitchell, A.B., Marshall, Tex.; Clarence 
Glead, Phar.D., Lawrence, Kan., and Mr. McKen- 
zie, a lawyer from Richmond, Va. 

Mention should be made also of the Army Candi- 
date School at Langres, France. The school was 
located at Fort Dela Bonnelle, and 62 non-com- 
missioned officers representing all the colored com- 
bat regiments in France were enrolled there. Of 
this number, one sergeant died, two became ill at 
examination time, and 56 received commissions. 
This was the best record for the proportion receiv- 
ing commissions of all the 17 platoons represented 
there. Of this number all whose initials ranged 
from A to D were sent to the 370th Infantry; the 
others were distributed throughout the 92nd Divi- 
sion. The 325th Signal Corps Battalion attended 
school at Gondricourt, and made one of the best 
records of any battalion from the standpoint of 
hardworking students and improved efficiency, 
while the five colored company officers of the 167th 



F. A. attended school at La Cortrine, and the 
colonel in charge of the school reported that they 
made the best record for studiousness and work 
accomplished in a period of two weeks of any 
American units in a given length of time. 

There were other schools where some colored 
soldiers secured training in wireless telegraphy 
and other technical subjects, and 33 2nd lieutenants 
received instruction at the French Artillery School 
at Vannes. While visiting that city during their 
period of training there, the writers were told by a 
French general with whom they conversed while 
waiting for a train, that these men all showed 
superior mental capacity, and were much loved 
by all the French citizens because of their splendid 
behavior and gentility of manners. 

Another phase of educational work among the 
troops was the developing of libraries. In this 
work the American Library Association was the 
moving spirit. Thousands of volumes of books 
were contributed to this Association by the Amer- 
ican people, and the Y. M. C. A. acted as a medium 
by which they were placed within reach of the 
soldiers. This offered a special opportunity for 
colored welfare workers to give another kind of 
training to soldiers that thousands were unable to 
get in their home cities. In very few cities in the 
South are any library facilities provided for the 
colored people. They are not permitted to go into 
the public libraries, and only a few cities have 
colored Branch Carnegie Libraries, such as Louis- 
ville or Houston, or a colored library established 



through other channels such as the one in Guthrie, 
Oklahoma. As a result, thousands of men coming 
from the South had no training in the use of libra- 
ries, and special attention had to be given every- 
where to instituting and teaching booklending 
systems; otherwise all books would have disap- 
peared in a day or two, not to be read always, but 
to be utilized in various and sundry ways such as 
a hiding place for letters, or a pad upon which to 
write. In time they all learned, however, to bor- 
row and return books in a given time, and the 
library soon became the most popular place about 
the hut. It was always kept warm and attractive 
and it was the only place about the hut where one 
could make himself comfortable in an arm or 
steamer chair. Through the generosity of the 
American public, magazines and periodicals be- 
came plentiful after the Armistice was signed, and 
the soldiers would tarry late, often until taps, 
before they would tear themselves away from the 
news item which brought such interesting infor- 
mation from home. 

Large and valuable libraries were established 
for the colored soldiers at Camp Lusitania, and the 
Embarkation Camps at St. Nazaire, in the Leave 
Area .at Challes-les-Eaux, at Camp Romagne, at 
Camp President Lincoln, Brest, and at the two 
colored huts at Camp Pontanezen, and were of 
invaluable service in educational and cultural work 
among the soldiers. Through these channels and 
the opportunities offered through the different 
Y. M. C. A. and Army Schools, the colored men 


1. Library at Camp Lusitania, St. Nazaire, France. 2. Colored College 

Students at University of Beaune. 3. Colored Students in Farm School, 

University of Beaune. 


received a new impetus and a new vision, and with 
the assistance of the training that comes from 
travel and contact, have returned to their homes 
better equipped for citizenship and future service 
to their race than they possibly could have been 
otherwise through all the years of a lifetime. 


"They said they were too slow, too dull, too this and 

that to do it, 

They couldn't match the method of the Hun, 
And then to arm a million why, the land would surely 

rue it 

If a million blacks were taught to use a gun. 
But right won out, and they went in at all detractors 

smiling ; 

They learned as quick as any how to shoot, 
They took the prize at loading ships, and riveting and 


And trained a thousand officers to boot. 
And when they went they took a boon no others had 

been bringing, 

For whether with a pick or with a gun, 
They lightened every labor with a wondrous sort of 


And turned the pall of battle into fun. 
0, the Frenchman was a marvel, and the Yankee was 

a wonder, 

And the British line was like a granite wall, 
But for singing as they leaped away to draw the Kaiser's 

The swarthy sons of Dixie beat them all." 



The Salvation of Music Overseas 

THOSE who know the native love and ability of 
our race for music will not marvel at the state- 
ment that colored soldiers sang, whistled and 
played their way through the late war. There 
were days of hunger and thirst; days full of 
deathly fatigue; days filled with the dense smoke 
and deafening uproar of battle ; days when terrible 
discriminations and prejudices ate into the soul 
deeper than the oppressors knew. But through it 
all there was salvation the salvation of the music 
that welled so naturally in the souls of the colored 
soldiers. In the midst of the French the artistic 
temperament of our soldiers found a warm wel- 
come and a favorable atmosphere in which to un- 
fold and find full expression; and, although it 
manifested itself in many ways, it found no other 
realm half so alluring as that of music. Individu- 
ally and in groups, colored soldiers gave them- 
selves to the enjoyment or serious study of music. 
In the hut the average life of a piano was but of 
short duration. Every moment from early dawn to 
late night, this instrument was in constant use. 
One became so accustomed to its continuous sounds 
as to be unconscious of them. We returned to 
America hoping that for the remainder of our 
lives we might be spared hearing any form of 
"Blues," for whatever else he might play, a fellow 
would finally finish with a touching rendition of 
some one of the many "Blues." 



There were melodies of joy and melodies of 
sorrow. We heard our soldiers on the coast of 
France chanting in unfailing rhythm as they un- 
loaded the great cargoes from America. We heard 
them in Southern France singing in joyous abandon 
as they sailed Lake Bourget, ascended Mount 
Revard or hiked up to Hannibal's Pass in the Alps. 
We heard them in the night watches at Romagne 
as they tenderly reburied their comrades who had 
fallen on the fields of battle. We heard them at 
the port again, as they looked longingly towards 
America and sang, "There's a long, long trail." 
Ever in our ears will we hear the harmony of those 
thousands of voices as they were blended in song 
for religious service, for the speed of work or 
for mere pleasure. Always this music breathed a 
wistful poignancy, but always it breathed, too, the 
matchless will and spirit of the race who sang. 
Nothing strengthened more the bond of loving sym- 
pathy that existed between the French and colored 
American than this musical temperament. Our 
bands played their way into the very souls of the 

And these bands that always filled us with mar- 
tial pride and dispelled all fear and dread! We 
think of one night in our camp. The 807th 
Pioneer Infantry would entrain on tomorrow for 
the front. Under its enthusiastic and highly pro- 
gressive bandmaster, Lieutenant Vodrey, this regi- 
mental band was giving its last show. Hundreds 
of black and white men filled every inch of the 
spacious hut from floor to rafter. In the front rows 


1. Lieut. James Reese Europe and Men of the 15th New York. 2. Band 

Master Oliver Mead. 3. Band of the 815th Pioneer Infantry, with Men 

on leave, at Challes-les-Eaux. 


sat the regimental officers, camp officers and French 
friends. All eyes centered upon the stage where 
either the orchestra of fifty men was playing or 
Opal Cooper was singing in the sweetest and most 
expressive tones, or the men were demonstrating 
by act or stunt their wit and humor. The hut 
rang with applause or laughter all that wonderful 
evening. Fun and merriment ran high during the 
rather ambitious hut reception given the band after 
that evening's entertainment, for they were trying to 
eat salad and sherbet without the use of forks and 
spoons which they had been told to bring but had 
quite promptly forgotten. It was rather difficult to 
realize that tomorrow those men would be facing 
toward the thundering guns at the front. We heard 
of the 807th band again and again as it won honors 
in France, playing before the crowned heads of the 
Allies; of their band leader making an enviable 
record at a French band school, and finally we 
met them again at Brest. There, with a pardonable 
pride, we bade them bon voyage as they returned 
home triumphantly bearing their laurels. 

The fame of Europe's Band, -as it was familiarly 
called, spread over all France as well as America. 
One single occasion on which we were permitted to 
hear this band in France is worthy of note. We 
had been honored as delegates to the Conference 
of Allied Women held in Paris in August, 1918. 
The program, the delegates, entertainment, every- 
thing, including the garden party tendered by 
President and Mme. Poincare, the afternoon 
at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, 




Jr., and the banquet at the Palais d'Orsay had quite 
won our hearty interest and admiration and we had 
reached the final and crowning session of the 
Conference. The great Theatre Elysees was 
crowded, although the lights were yet turned low. 
Someone informed us that the orchestra in the pit 
was composed of colored men. Immediately we 
came to our feet. Try as we might we could not 
see the men, but the leader, Lieutenant Europe, 
sat elevated, and so we recognized him. In spite 
of the addresses by great personages, in spite 
of the royal opera singer and the wonderful chorus, 
for the remainder of that evening our thoughts 
centered themselves about this band of colored 
Americans playing before the elite of Europe and 
America. It was a significant moment when, with 
a great martial note, this band of the 15th New 
York Infantry began the French National Hymn, 
summoning the great audience to its feet as 
President Poincaire and party entered their box. 
Time and time again the playing of these colored 
Americans thrilled the house into rapturous ap- 
plause. After the audience had been dismissed 
and the lights again turned low, admiring friends, 
among whom were Mr. and Mrs. Theodore 
Roosevelt, Jr., stood by and the band played on 
lingeringly and tenderly as if somewhere voices 
were whispering that it would be one of the last 
great triumphs of its famous leader. 

Music was one of the chief attractions furnished 
by the Leave Area for the tired, depressed men who 



were sent there for rest and recreation. There came 
the 803rd Pioneer Infantry Band under the capable 
direction of Sergeant Major Bailey. These men 
gave us so much joy and entertainment in their 
playing that not only did the Y make efforts to 
have them retained permanently in the Leave Area, 
but the French people were quite as eager to 
have them, and showered praises and flowers on 
them when at last they were ordered back to their 

Then came the 815th with their fine Western 
pride and spirit playing their way, too, into the 
heart of the Area. We met them again at Romagne 
when, with the band of the 816th Pioneer Regiment, 
they were playing daily to counteract the depress- 
ing influences of their surroundings. We stood near 
them and watched with tear-filled eyes as they paid 
their humble homage on that memorable thirtieth 
of May when General Pershing had come to dedi- 
cate that largest military cemetery. We were 
with them again at the Port of Brest where, with 
their wonderfully stirring music they, too, fought 
in that battle for morale. We learned to know 
them well those California lads and to love 

No finer men went to France than the men who 
composed the 802nd Pioneer Infantry, and that 
may account for the really high quality of the work 
of its band. No band seemed to adhere quite so 
closely to classical selections, and they would most 
naturally draw the French to their feet whenever 



and wherever they played. While resting in the 
Leave Area, they graciously gave us several con- 

We followed the history of the St. Nazaire Band 
with a certain pride and interest because, in the 
early days when we entered that town it was a 
small struggling group with but few instruments, 
the sounds from which can be but faintly described 
by the word horrible. It was encouraged by the 
Young Men's Christian Association, who gave it 
a thousand dollars for instruments and music. We 
watched this band grow and lose its crudeness with 
almost incredible rapidity, until a year later, when 
it visited the Leave Area, it was our joy and pride. 
It is sad to record that at the very zenith of popular- 
ity, its history was saddened by the sudden and 
tragic death of Sergeant Stevenson, the assistant 
bandmaster, who fell from a pole at Chambery. 
Again the beautiful French spirit was demonstrated 
by the populace of the town in a mass of floral 
offerings at the funeral of this soldier. Always 
with the French it was "Wos fleurs et nos coeurs." 
The writer shall always have a peculiar remem- 
brance of the St. Nazaire band, for at the time of 
the signing of the armistice she had succumbed to 
a serious illness as a result of overexertion. For a 
day or two the outer world was rather vague to 
her consciousness, but she was brought back when 
the band passed the house playing with full tone 
and complete abandon "Over There." Looking 
into the face of her associate she learned that the 
armistice had been signed and that this playing 


1. Bugler Hamilton White. 2. Band Leader Wm. Bailey. 3. Sgt. Jefferson, 

Saxaphonist. 4. St. Nazaire Band. 5. Band of the 802d Pioneer Infantry. 

6. Band of the 803d Pioneer Infantry. 


was but an incident of the jubilation that had been 
in progress for several hours. 

The Regimental Band of the 805th Pioneer In- 
fantry was organized very late, but it became 
famous overnight, especially at Chateau Chehery, 
near Grand Pre. The Regimental Headquarters 
were in the famous and beautiful Chateau de 
Chehery, and there the band entertained the French, 
British and Americans of high rank who were con- 
stant visitors. 

The story of the 808th band who had the honor 
of playing for President Wilson as he sailed home 
from Brest in June, is best told by one of its mem- 
bers who wrote this letter while they were in 
France : 

"When they left Camp Meade the watchword was 'Over 
There,' and as the band of the dashing 808th Pioneer In- 
fantry played that tuneful strain upon leaving the good 
old United States of America, they gave courage and cheer 
to the three thousand boys in line, and filled the hearts 
of wives, sweethearts, mothers and friends with that kind 
of spirit which wins wars an unbreakable faith. But 
I am to tell you of these boys 'Over There' and I am to 
get my story from the spontaneous expression of boys 
who just needed a strain of some good old 'rag' or 
quaint Irish ballad to spur them on to the next town 
or a beautiful symphony to lull them off to sleep as 
they lay in pain on their cots. 

"This band of colored musicians has indeed upheld 
the tradition of its race, for their music contributes much 
to make the name of the 808th Pioneer Infantry popular 
at the front. To begin with, they are right at the front 
being only a few kilometers behind the line, and although 
in danger of attracting the attention of hostile forces, 

15 223 


they realize that the spirit of the boys must be kept 
cheerful and refreshed. So, often they assemble in a 
well protected spot and play for the constant line of 
khaki as it moves along the road toward the enemy. And 
how those boys enjoy the music only they can tell. But 
from the quickened step, the straightened shoulders and 
the whistling and singing, one can really feel the re- 
freshing and satisfying effects of the band. When the 
band stops playing, however, there is no question as to 
the appreciation of the music, for from hundreds of 
throats comes the cry, 'Carry On!' 

"There is small wonder, though, that these boys have 
developed into such a well-balanced band, for when one 
meets the 'Chief,' as he is familiarly known among his 
fellow officers, the reason is easily explained. With a 
natural talent for music, the 'Chief combines years of 
training as bandmaster and leader. It was he, Lieuten- 
ant James E. Wheelock, who brought to the Carlisle 
Indian School athletic prowess which struck terror in 
the hearts of all followers of the pigskin in the East, 
and he also developed the Carlisle Indian School band 
into one of national repute, so now it is he, realizing the 
power of music, who adds his talent and leadership to 
the one great end. I must not fail, however, to give due 
credit to the boys under his brilliant instruction. Natur- 
ally gifted as musicians' and with deep love for it, these 
colored boys have developed into a respected organiza- 
tion, and with a realization of their power, they have un- 
hesitatingly given their services where they might cheer 
some homesick boy or ease the pain of those suffering 
from wounds of battle. Transported in trucks through 
mud and rain, they have gone miles to play in hospitals 
and rest camps, and have brought to our nurses some 
little respite from the constant cry of pain. 

"These boys have also developed other features which 
bid fair to permit them always to retain a warm spot in 
the hearts of the boys of the American Expeditionary 



Forces. Could you but hear Terry and Bloxson pull off 
their skit entitled 'Sick Call in the Army' in that dis- 
mantled stable which the fellows have the nerve to call 
a theatre, or could you hear the melodious string quar- 
tette, or a beautiful saxophone solo, or the sweet voices 
of the band, you, too, would do as the hundreds of boys 
do who crowd that place every Monday jump to your 
feet crying 'Carry On!' Let us thank these boys and 
Lieutenant Wheelock for their unselfish spirit." 

Other regiments, combatant and non-combatant, 
had their bands that won honor and praise in the 
same way as the few did with whom we had per- 
sonal touch, and then there were great numbers of 
singers and shows. In any camp an impromptu- 
musical program was not far to seek. 

But everywhere the music of the colored soldier 
was a faithful index of the spirit behind the song. 
There might be heard painfully monotonous or 
sombre chords but wait a little and the atmos- 
phere would change. There would come creeping 
into the music aspiration and elevation. Always 
the psychologist could discern the sorrow, pain and 
rebellion of souls that suffered unjustly, but always 
he would also discern through the exaltation and 
nobility of the music that its fundamental basis was 
faith and vision. 


Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the 
world. Matthew 28:20. 


Religious Life Among the Troops 

A LTHOUGH the church as an organization and 
-* as the most direct exponent of the Prince of 
Peace, had no part in the welfare work during the 
war, yet it was the contributing and inspirational 
force behind the organizations and individuals who 
played such an important part in the developing 
and the maintaining of the morale of the soldiers 
of the American Expeditionary Forces. The chap- 
lains were direct, but not official representatives of 
the church, while the Y. M. C. A., the Y. W. C. A., 
the Knights of Columbus, the Salvation Army, 
and the Jewish Welfare Board were direct out- 
growths of the church or religious spirit in Amer- 
ica ; and while the great war was apparently a com- 
plete and tangible evidence of the failure of Chris- 
tianity among Christian nations, still there was 
abundant manifestation everywhere that within the 
hearts of men there was a deep and abiding faith in 
the great Ruler of the Universe, and a certain con- 
viction that the great world cataclysm was a result 
of the dogged and persistent determination of the 
peoples engaged therein to ignore the principles 
in practice that they had so loudly preached to the 

Although to some it was tremendously puzzling 
that a great human machine that had been built up 
for the purpose of killing men, should at the same 
time set agencies into operation to teach and preach 
the doctrines of Christ, yet they were willing to 



overlook the seeming paradox and gather in large 
numbers to hear the gospel, to study the Word 
itself, to pray, and not least of all, to sing as only 
dark-skinned Americans can sing, either the won- 
derful spirituals that were born of the travail of an 
oppressed and bleeding people, or the more stately 
hymns and songs that were published in a million 
gospel song books that were distributed throughout 
the American Expeditionary Forces. 

The Y. M. C. A. had a regularly organized re- 
ligious program which it put into operation with 
more or less success; it secured the services of 
Dr. Henry Churchill King, President of Oberlin 
College, as Director of the Religious Department in 
France. He had offices in Paris, and a large field 
force to put into operation his plan of carrying the 
gospel to the soldiers. Evangelistic singers and 
speakers traveled from place to place talking and 
singing to the soldiers as they congregated in the 
Y. M. C. A. huts. There was a religious director 
also for every region, who kept in direct touch with 
the work of religious secretaries who were supposed 
to be stationed at each hut. The personnel of the 
colored welfare workers, however, was so limited 
in number that there were not enough religious 
secretaries to supply the demand; and there were 
only about 50 colored chaplains in the entire 
A. E. F.; as a result, all who would were invited 
to help in this all-important work of the Y. M. C. A. 
Many of the soldiers were always willing and 
anxious to assist in every possible way, while some 
of the Y women gave much time to this phase of 



1. Chaplain R. A. McAllister and Orderly at Camp Pontanezen, Brest. 

2. Chaplain M. M. Jefferson, at Camp Lusitania, St. Nazaire. 3. Secre- 
tary B. F. Selden and Chaplain George Shippen Stark, on Vosges 

Front. 4. Chaplains Wallace and Robeson with 369th Infantry. 


welfare work; the writer, with the assistance of 
interested soldiers, organized a Bible class in a hut 
where there hitherto had been only one religious 
service a week, attended by from 60 to 100 men 
out of a camp of 3,500. The Bible class grew and 
gathered strength until a colored chaplain was 
finally stationed at Camp Lusitania, which by that 
time had grown to a camp of 9,000. 

Some hut secretaries were especially fitted for 
religious work, and filled the place of a religious 
worker in a splendid manner. Such a man was 
Mr. William Stevenson, who initiated and built 
the work at Camp Montoir. Rev. T. A. Griffith, 
hut secretary at Camp Guthrie, near St. Nazaire, 
was another such messenger of the gospel, and dur- 
ing three months of service had 300 ^accessions to 
the church; the names of all such men were en- 
rolled on special blanks supplied by the Y. M. 
C. A., and sent to the churches at home of which 
they desired to become members. Of course this 
was work such as was to be expected of any min- 
ister, but nevertheless there were some who did not 
avail themselves of the opportunity. Another such 
Y. M. C. A. secretary was Mr. E. T. Banks, of 
Dayton, Ohio. Hundreds would go into battle 
after having followed him in silent prayer, with 
knees bent and faces lifted toward heaven, in the 
land where now "The poppies blow, between the 
crosses, row on row," and where many of them at 
this moment "Rest sweet and deep, in Flanders 



In addition to the work done through the Y. M. 
C. A. religious workers and chaplains, thousands 
of pieces of religious literature were distributed, 
including pocket editions of the New Testament, 
Psalms, and Gospels. These were placed in litera- 
ture cases so that the men could select those which 
interested them most, and always the New Testa- 
ment or small extracts from the Bible would have 
the largest circulation. 

To those of us who went over to cast our lots 
with the boys in khaki, nothing was quite so inspir- 
ing and so helpful as to hear them tell of their faith 
in God, or to give utterance to a prayer that bespoke 
the upward groping of a soul, or to hear a thousand 
voices, deep and rich and rhythmic, bring heaven 
into a sacred and almost visible nearness, with sing- 
ing that seemed nothing less than a special bene- 
diction to a peculiar people. This was a priceless 
gift, in a country where all the people spoke a dif- 
ferent tongue, and where the great organs in the 
cathedrals welled forth the only language that 
brought forth a gospel message to a stranger in a 
strange land. 

In the midst of oppression, circumscription, in- 
trigue, and false and wicked propaganda spread 
against them by their own countrymen, these col- 
ored soldiers fought as bravely as any Americans 
overseas, and worked with a greater will; and as 
you saw them going to and from their long hours 
of labor with a song upon their lips, you became 
convinced that these men had unconquerable souls; 
and the tramp, tramp, tramp of their marching 



feet made you feel that surely they were walking 
side by side with the Master, who had said unto 
them: Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end 
of the world. 


They are embosomed in the sod, 

In still and tranquil leisure, 

Their lives, they've cast, like trifles down 

To serve their country's pleasure. 

Nor bugle call, nor mother's voice, 
Nor moody mob's unreason, 
Shall break their solace and repose, 
Through swiftly changing season. 

graves of men who lived and died 
Afar from life's high pleasures, 
Fold them in tenderly and warm 
With manifold fond measures. 



Reburying the Dead 

CPRINGTIME had come again, but so different 
k./ from the spring of that other year. Then the 
voices of spring had been deadened by the thunder- 
ous guns around Verdun, Soissons, and Chateau 
Thierry. Then those guns with their deep and 
ominous challenge were holding the whole world 
in tense and fearful waiting. Women of every 
land were listening with tender yearning and burn- 
ing anxiety for a word from their heroes on the 
fields of France. Men of mature years who had 
been a part of the conflicts of other days could 
scarce conceal their eagerness for the fray as they 
gently encouraged those anguished women and 
commended their wonderful spirit of endurance 
and patriotism. It was springtime, but the Crown 
Prince still hammered on Verdun, the Hindenburg 
line was still unbroken and the foe was not yet 
hurled back from the Marne in sure defeat. It was 
the springtime when late, but with grim determina- 
tion to win or die, the American Forces had at last 
taken their place in the World Conflict. 

But all that was now a part of the past and 
springtime had come once again in France. Mean- 
time a spirit of change had crept over all the land. 
After one tremendous shout for victory the world 
had fallen into the silence that follows a supreme 
struggle the silence of exhaustion, the silence of 
death. Many of the thousands who had pressed 



forward in those terrific battles crying "Victory!" 
had fallen and lain together under the bleak, dark 
winter skies of France. It was a period, too, of 
reckoning and realization of the price paid. But 
springtime had come again in France with its 
song-birds and blood-red poppies, and with it the 
quick consciousness that the dead lying en-masse 
on the battlefields must be given resting places be- 
fitting heroes. 

Here was a tremendous task for the surviving 
American soldiers, but far more sacred than tre- 
mendous. Whose would be the hands to gather as 
best they could and place beneath the white crosses 
of honor the remains of those who had sanctified 
their spirits through the gift of their lifeblood? It 
would be a gruesome, repulsive and unhealthful 
task, requiring weeks of incessant toil during the 
long heavy days of summer. It also meant isola- 
tion, for these cemeteries for the American dead 
would be erected on or near the battlefields where 
the men had fallen. But it would be a wonderful 
privilege the beauty and glory of which would 
reveal itself more and more as the facts of the war 
should become crystallized into history. 

Strange that the value of such a task did not 
gather full significance in the minds of all Amer- 
ican soldiers. Strange that when other hands re- 
fused it, swarthy hands received it! Yet, perhaps, 
not so strange, for Providence hath its own way, 
and in those American cemeteries in France we 
have strong and indisputable evidence of the won- 
derful devotion and loyalty and the matchless 


1. Burial at Sea. 2. Writer's Tent at Romagne Cemetery. 3. Among 
the Ruins of Dunn-sur-Meuse. 4. Belleau Woods. 


patience and endurance of the colored soldier. 
The placing of this task the most sacred of the 
whole war in his hands may have been providen- 
tially planned. It may have been just another 
means, as against the force of arms, to hasten here 
at home the recognition and enforcement of those 
fundamental principles that for four long years 
had held the world in deadly struggle. 

We looked upon these soldiers of ours the 
splendid 813th, 815th and 816th Pioneer Regi- 
ments and the numerous fine labor battalions as 
they constructed the cemeteries at Romagne, Beau- 
mont, Thiencourt, Belleau Woods, Fere-en-Tar- 
denois and Soissons. We watched them as they 
toiled day and night, week after week, through 
drenching rain and parching heat. And yet these 
physical ills were as naught compared with the 
trials of discriminations and injustices that seared 
their souls like hot iron, inflicted as they were at 
a time when these soldiers were rendering the 
American army and nation a sacred service. 
Always in those days there was fear of mutiny or 
rumors of mutiny. We felt most of the time that 
we were living close to the edge of a smoldering 
crater. At Belleau Woods the soldiers en-masse 
banished some who mistreated them. We recall an 
incident at Romagne. Even though it was May the 
nights were winter cold, so that when one snuggled 
between army blankets in the tent, it required a 
bit of heroism to crawl out. This particular night 
we had just retired when shots were heard, fired in 
rapid succession. Without thought of the cold we 



began dressing and were sitting wrapped in cloak 
thinking rapidly about what was happening 
when someone called, "It is only a fire!" What a 
relief it was! What did it matter if the whole 
camp burned in comparison with our boys being 
goaded by prejudice beyond reason! Rations were 
often scarce and poor at Romagne because we were 
so far from supplies, hence we prepared and served 
food for the soldiers all day long. But this was 
but a small task compared with that of keeping the 
men in good spirits and reminding them again and 
again of the glory of the work they had in hand. 
Always, whether in the little corner set aside in 
the Y barracks as our reception room, or among 
the books they liked so well to read, whether by 
the side of the piano or over the canteen, we were 
trying to love them as a mother or a dear one 
would into a fuller knowledge and appreciation of 
themselves, their task and the value of forbearance. 

We had gone from Romagne women of fine 
spirit had taken our place and were lovingly min- 
istering to the needs of these soldiers, when things 
happened too grievous to be calmly borne. At 
one stroke down came tents of discrimination and 
injustice, but the work there went on and the sol- 
diers completed the difficult task assigned them. 

For weeks at Romagne we watched these 
men fare forth with the dawn to find the dead 
on the 480 square miles of battlefield of the Meuse- 
Argonne. At eventide we would see them return 
and reverently remove the boxes from the long lines 
of trucks and place them on the hillside beside the 



waiting trenches that other soldiers had been dig- 
ging all the long busy day. Far into the night we 
would sit in our darkened tent looking out on the 
electric-lighted cemetery, watching the men as 
they lowered the boxes into the trenches. Some- 
times we could hear only a low murmur of voices, 
and sometimes again there would come to us a 
plaintive melody in keeping with the night hour 
and its peculiar task. 

Mr. William G. Shepherd, in the New York 
Evening Post, gives the following picture: 

"As we moved about the battlefield later, we saw in 
fields, in groves, on hillsides, and even in the yards of 
what had been the houses of French villages, groups of 
Negro soldiers at their worthy but infinitely slow task 
of calling the roll of our American dead and gathering 
them together at the hillside rendezvous of Romagne. 

"One of the burning pictures of all this war to me 
was a view of these Negro sexton-soldiers working on 
a hilltop one rainy evening at dusk. They were outlined 
against the gloomy sky. Their huge motor-truck stood 
near by, ready to carry their burden to Romagne. I 
thought of the home back in the United States where this 
one doughboy's empty chair held its sacred place; of 
how the 'home fires,' of which our doughboys had so 
often sung, had been kept burning for him. I thought 
of how the heart-love in that home would flash across 
the Atlantic to this bleak French hilltop faster than any 
wireless message if the homefolk only knew. 

"It was good to know that he was being taken from 
his solitary bed, in the midst of the battlefield's desola- 
tion, back to the crowd of his buddies at Romagne. This, 
that I saw on the sky-line, was his second mobilization. 
Not this time will he sing and romp and play and joke 



and fight; after his second mobilization at Romagne he 
will just lie still and rest with all the other thousands of 
his fellow soldiers, his job well done, until it is time 
for us he saved to take him back home." 

We have yet another picture. It was the day 
before the 30th of May, 1919. Every soldier was 
helping to put the Romagne cemetery in readiness 
for its dedication by General Pershing on the next 
day. Looking out from our little kitchen window 
of the Y barrack, we saw what seemed to us a 
wonderful sight. Two long lines of soldiers were 
before us one moving slowly over the hill and 
the other coming up the main road each man bear- 
ing on his shoulder a single white cross that would 
rest above the grave of a fellow-hero. Quickly 
our mind traveled back over the centuries to Him 
who had borne the cross toward Golgotha, and we 
saw in these dark-skinned sons of America bearing 
those white crosses, something of the same humility 
and something of the same sorrow that character- 
ized the Master, but we also beheld in them the 
Christ spirit grown large, beautiful and eternal 
with the ages. Behind the vivid picture drawn by 
Mr. Shepherd and behind this other picture, one 
sees not only the twenty-two thousand homes rep- 
resented by these crosses at Romagne, but the ten 
thousand real Americans, colored men of the Pion- 
eer Infantries and labor battalions, who, through 
the sweat of toil, linked that place of sainted pil- 
grimage on the Western Front with those American 


1. Military Cemetery at Romagne. 
2. Bearing the Cross. 


Our outstanding impression of those faithful 
ones who wore the insignia of Alsace-Lorraine is 
their strict allegiance to the trust imposed upon 
them, with heart and purpose fixed to pay the price 
entailed in the completion of their severe task. 

Whether they sought their comrades by the 
winding Meuse or on the battle-seamed heights of 
"No Man's Land;" whether they found their 
bodies in the shadows of the ruined cathedrals of 
Rheims, Soissons or Ypres, always they were mak- 
ing an unconscious challenge to the very heart of 
the United States for the rights of the twelve mil- 
lions of its citizens whose loyalty had thus endured 
the test. 

May we not hope that as the heart of this home- 
land finds its way to those American shrines in 
France, a real peace, born of knowledge and grati- 
tude, shall descend upon us, blotting out hate and 
its train of social and civil injustices? Then shall 
we realize the value and meaning of the pain and 
sacrifice of these dark-browned heroes of ours. 

16 239 

What are the things that make life bright? 

A star gleam in the night. 

What hearts us for the coming fray? 

The dawn tints of the day. 

What helps to speed the weary mile? 

A brother's friendly smile. 

What turns to gold the evening gray? 

A flower beside the way. 



Stray Days 

THERE were days of travel from one post of 
duty to another, and days of recreation that 
took us away from the camp for a little but seldom 
away from the soldiers themselves. Army restric- 
tions were as numerous and as intricate as the 
barbed wire entanglement of the front. But in 
spite of limitations, and in some instances because 
of them, we had many novel and interesting experi- 
ences in what we called Stray Days. 

Waiting, as simple as it seems, could sometimes 
be one of the most trying ordeals of a soldier's 
life. This was true of those who reached France in 
the heat of the conflict to become in some small way 
a part of it. Arriving in Paris and finding it sorely 
pressed by the foe, one immediately became a part 
of the anxious throng within its gates, with scant 
desire for sight-seeing or visits to places of inter- 
est during those tense days. This was especially 
true if one had known that city when it was all 
life and light, before the pall of suffering and 
dread had fallen over it. 

Now one preferred to sit in the Garden of the 
Tuilleries, if the bomb and shell of the enemy per- 
mitted it. Looking out upon the huge dark form 
of the Louvre or letting the eyes wander past the 
remains of the palace to the Place de la Concorde, 
it would be most natural that the thoughts or con- 
versation would turn to the long struggle of France 
for the attainment of an ideal democracy. Usually 



the conversation would be with a wounded soldier 
or sad old civilian of the French who would add 
much to our knowledge of his people and their 
history. Or, in those same oppressive days, we 
would ride past the palatial residences with their 
fast-closed windows, on the Champs Elysees, out to 
the Bois de Bologne. Sitting there with face toward 
Napoleon's Arc de Triomphe, one would come to 
understand that kingdoms and principalities, 
builded by selfishness and tyranny, survive but a 
day. Through the gruesome crucible of the Bastille 
and guillotine, France had won the democracy that 
she was now battling to preserve. The grim insist- 
ence of this determination could be seen in the 
wounded men that were ever near us. 

But when the French had finally won, life and 
light once again filled Paris, and with it the urge 
and joy of long days of sight-seeing for the Amer- 
icans. Soldiers "on three days' leave" wanted to 
see luxurious Versailles whatever else was omitted. 
Others preferred Fontainebleau with its stately 
palace, or St. Denis with its hundreds of royal 
tombs. All wanted to go to the tombs of Lafayette 
and Napoleon. One would find the Chapel of the 
Invalides crowded with soldiers looking down upon 
the great sarcophagus of the Emperor, while a 
Y man related the history. Now and then as we 
listened, we felt that the shade of the great warrior 
might be protesting all unseen against some of 
these original interpretations of his life. 

Aside from the best-known places of interest, one 
liked to go out to Pere la Chaise with a group of 



men and show them its wonderful beauty, even 
though a cemetery show them the graves of great 
scholars and artists of France, even those of its 
great lovers like Heloise and Abelard. Often the 
day would be closed with a restful ride on the 
Seine, where, somehow, one came into more inti- 
mate touch with historical Paris and a keener 
understanding of it than from any other point. The 
long dark form of the Louvre; the beautiful Notre 
Dame with the nearby Hotel de Ville, and the gold- 
domed Hotel des Invalides are among the domi- 
nating views of the famous little Seine, and in them 
is summed up much of the death and resurrection 
of a nation. But outside of Paris the footsteps of 
the world seemed to turn toward Rheims. Rheims 
with its far-famed cathedral, all war-despoiled, 
became a place of pilgrimage not only for the de- 
voted French, but for the thousands of foreigners 
on their soil. Towering above the ruined city, the 
cathedral, so rich in artistic value and historical 
associations, stands all shattered and torn. Thirty 
years to restore, they told us there! Somehow as 
we looked upon it, standing proudly erect in spite 
of its ghastly wounds and piles of wreckage heaped 
high about, it seemed strongly emblematic of its 
wonderful people, who even then had begun the 
herculean task of restoring their villages and towns. 
Aside from walking through the ruins to reach 
the cathedral and our ride to the fort and battle- 
field with its never-ending trenches, we have two 
distinct memories of our visit to Rheims. First, it 



was a wonderful way to celebrate the birthday of 
one of us; and second, a secret service man, posing 
as a Frenchman, completely won our confidence. 
Once before in Paris when one of our number had 
a dinner in honor of the Liberian delegates to the 
Peace Conference, we found close at our side an 
American in faultless evening dress. He quite 
amused us by the way he pretended to be engrossed 
in his dinner and book, while he really gave him- 
self to listening. A little diplomacy, and his call- 
ing was discovered. But at Rheims it was all 
different. Sprawled on a bench in real French 
attire with wine bottle in hand, this man spoke 
perfect French. It was the hottest day we had 
ever experienced in France, so he opened the con- 
versation with questions about the weather in dif- 
ferent sections of the United States, thus locating 
us. Then came other questions about colored 
people, their relations and feelings to their coun- 
try. After a while our little party went to purchase 
postcards, and when we returned our erstwhile 
Frenchman had become an unmistakable American. 
He laughingly revealed his identity. Now, per- 
haps it was the environment, but, at any rate, we 
had all stood the test that day of being rather good 
Americans; even the "buck" private who accom- 
panied us seemed to have forgotten the many griev- 
ances of his kind and spoke with a kind of glow 
upon his face of his home in Baltimore. Our 
secret service man was well pleased with our 
Americanism, but we felt rather chagrined that we 
had missed so splendid an opportunity to share with 



him certain truths about colored folk at home that 
he probably had not learned. 

Seeing Rheims, one also wished to see the city 
so close by and so closely linked to it for all the 
war. But we had seen Chateau Thierry first. One 
Saturday afternoon the two writers were started 
from Verdun with "movement orders" for Paris. 
But the spirit of adventure was very strong in them. 
They were in a region that within a year had 
changed the map of the world and added miracu- 
lous pages to history. They were in a sector where 
their own men, side by side with the French, had 
fought bravely to victory, so that to see it only from 
the fast moving train was hardly possible. At 
Chalons they descended, and so full of their adven- 
ture were they that the difficulty of securing suit- 
able lodgings in that city, overcrowded with Amer- 
ican officers and soldiers, did not disturb them. 
Two Frenchmen carrying their baggage, content- 
edly jogged along with them, now and then offering 
a suggestion. The old cathedral, one of the finest 
in France, and the old buildings of the city were 
well worth the time spent in hunting a place to 
sleep. Next morning they hurried over to the 
ruined city of Chateau Thierry with its little Marne 
that had twice held the world in breathless anxiety. 
How glad they were to join there two other Y 
women and a Y man who were also out for a day 
of recreation! Already they had found the head- 
quarters' company of the "813th," and the colonel 
of that regiment granted the use of two camions 
or wagonettes in which they all raced to Belleau 



Woods. There Messrs. Kindal and Parks, with Miss 
Thomas and Mrs. Williamson were faithfully serv- 
ing those companies of the "813th" that were 
building the cemetery there and of whom we have 
spoken. There, too, we found Dr. Wilberforce 
Williams helping the regular staff. Never was a 
dinner served in the properly appointed way eaten 
more joyously than the one to which those ten 
secretaries sat down that Sunday in Belleau Woods. 
It had been gathered from devious sources by the 
soldiers of the regiment and brought to the Y 
hut, so that the courses would not have pleased an 
epicurean taste. However, there were few frag- 
ments left from that meal. 

We have told about the soldiers at Chateau 
Thierry and Fere-en-Tardenois, but we have not 
told about our race from one place to the other, 
about thirty miles, with stops here and there to 
find our way, pick up hats and caps blown away, 
and to repair the camions. 

That night we slept at Epernay and that is still 
another story. There, too, we found the city 
crowded by Americans. We thought we would sit 
in the depot all night, but the sleeping crowd and 
steamy atmosphere drove us forth into the clean 
night air. We were just endeavoring to drive a 
bargain with the owner of a voiture for its use as 
a sleeping carriage, when a tiny French lady in 
voluminous black bombazine swept us away to 
her small apartment with its big feather bed. The 
next day, having satisfied for the time our desire 



for sight-seeing, we most demurely handed in 
"movement orders" at the Paris office. 

During the war Epernay, like Bar-le-Duc and 
Chalons, was always just on the rim of that gulf 
of fire and smoke that swept Eastern France. For 
the most part these cities escaped with only an 
ugly scar here and there. Verdun saved them, for 
could the Crown. Prince but have realized his 
dream, they, too, would have been as Soissons, 
Rheims and Chateau Thierry, mere heaps of ruins. 

There were other trips over battlefields and 
through their tunnels that most of those who went 
to France had the privilege of making. But it was 
away from the beaten paths of travelers, and espe- 
cially along the west coast of France, that these 
Stray Days afforded us the greatest pleasure. At 
St. Nazaire there were days when we would leave 
the noise of the camp and wander down long shady 
roads, by high stone walls that hid from view beau- 
tiful cottages and gardens, down steep inclines to 
the sea, stepping from boulder to boulder till we 
would be far out. Then we would rest with the 
breeze full of the salt of the sea blowing about us. 
Sometimes we would talk of home and loved ones 
over there in the west, sometimes of our work, but 
oftener we would be silent. Looking up we might 
see a khaki-clad form high above that would come 
down to us at a frightfully rapid pace. There 
were lovely moonlight nights when we would stand 
by the sea-wall on the ocean boulevard and watch 
the transports that so often filled the harbor, rest- 
ing on the glistening waves. But there were other 



nights when, clad in storm raiment, we enjoyed 
equally as well seeing the great waves dash over 
the wall and across the boulevard in turbulent 

Now and then there would be a whole day in 
which we could leave the camp entirely. Then we 
could go to one of the many little seaside resorts 
about us Pornichet, for instance, with its great 
stretch of white beach, quaint and quiet inns and 
tempting sea food. There one would go to sleep 
with the roar of the waves in the ears and the salt 
of the sea filling the atmosphere. 

Now and then there would be need of supplies 
for our hut that the local magasins or shops could 
not supply, and it would afford a chance for a shop- 
ping expedition to the quaint and historical old 
city, of Nantes. Once there we would spend most 
of the day in the crowded but wonderfully attrac- 
tive shops. Then we would seek for a voiture with 
a versatile and talkative owner who would show 
us the points of interest in the old town that had 
known so much of persecution and despotism. The 
river Loire, now filled with supplies for the army, 
was once filled with barges in which hundreds of 
human souls were drowned. Nantes was one of the 
important war bases, and was always crowded by 

Another outing took us to Vannes on the Brittany 
coast, one of the oldest towns of France. In Celtic 
times it was the capital of Venetis and it takes the 
honor of giving Venice its name as well as coloniz- 
ing the Adriatic. Because its inhabitants resisted 



Caesar with so much vigor he said of them "they 
have bodies of iron and hearts of steel." Looking 
at the every-day life of those inhabitants of the 
Brittany coast, one feels that time has brought few 
changes in conditions and customs. The men driv- 
ing their cows and sheep on market day, the women 
and children riding in the carts or walking about 
the towns, all in the native costume of their class, 
close the door on the present and, for a time, make 
one a part of the past. Its old stone gateways and 
courts, its old squares and old passages and more 
than all else, its old men and women with their 
clattering wooden shoes, reveal how little the outer 
world has penetrated to that ancient spot. 

A half day only left for Vannes, and Carnac 
with its Druid Stones almost thirty kilometres away! 
How was it to be done? We could not miss seeing 
such a wonder. There was but one way, and well 
for us that we did not know then all the army regu- 
lations or we would have missed this place now 
engraven in our memory. But we did not know, 
so we did the one thing possible, hired an auto- 
mobile with chauffeur both French and sped to 
Carnac. It is neither beautiful nor ugly, but it is 
wonderful to see hundreds of gray stones rising 
skyward out of the heather-covered fields. So 
regular the rows, so silent the surroundings that 
one can almost believe the legend that makes them 
an army turned to stone. There is much of tradi- 
tion and history in all of this part of Brittany. 

Finnistere offered many advantages for outings 
with the great military port of Brest as the starting 



point. To be in Brest in winter was to feel the 
gloom and penetrating chill of England with 
the addition during the war period of mud every- 
where earth ground into sinking mire such as 
only vast and constant movements of men and 
machinery could produce. It was the greatest port 
of the war, and men were always there by the 
thousands. We climbed high above the city one 
winter evening to visit the men at Camp Lincoln. 
As we spoke to them that night we saw 
their faces out of the shadows made by 
the flickering candles. Months later we spoke 
again, but in a well-lighted auditorium that 
had been built for the men as the result of the 
persistent and successful efforts of Secretary 
Cansler and his associates. Brest itself is full of 
historic interest, beginning with the sombre Chateau 
and its dungeons. But all around it are picturesque 
spots that lure one away from the town in summer 
days. One Saturday four Y women and twelve 
soldiers went by automobile north from Brest about 
twelve miles and reached the remote village of St. 
Mathieu. They were then at the most westerly 
point on the Continent, named by the natives "Loc 
Mazi pen ar Bed," or the cell of St. Mathieu at the 
end of the earth. But the most important thing 
there is the ruins of a great monastery constructed 
in the sixth century. It was bombarded first by the 
English and again during the French Revolution. 
On all the Continent we had seen nothing more 
picturesque than that great roofless monastery with 
its cloisters and pretty Gothic windows. Covered 


1. Down by the Sea in France. 2. Devastated Rheims. 3. A Light- 
house off the Coast of Brittany. 4. The Druid Stones at Carnac. 5. 
Chamonix. 6. An old gateway at Verdun. 7. Chateau Thierry. 8. . 
Yerdu:;. 9. Ancient Yannes. 


with moss and ivy, it stood a monument to the 
monastic order of its day. Nearby was a light- 
house and all about us were mines, for the village 
held a strategic position at the entrance to the 
English Channel. Beneath the sea-wall was a sub- 
marine passage that had had its uses in other wars 
as well as in the last one. From there we rode on 
to Conquet, a typical little fishing village of the 
north coast. We ate dinner in a big old room jut- 
ting far out on the sea, where the mist fell about 
us like rain. 

How in the memory of thousands of doughboys 
and welfare workers lingers the picture of Lyons! 
With its lovely bridges, parks and boulevards, with 
its great Cathedrale de Fourviere perched high 
above it, more than any other place it was the 
"City Beautiful" for the men who rested there en- 
route to southern France. It was with Dijon, 
beautiful beyond compare, after the barren of 
camp life. 

There were days in Southern France where, 
in addition to the interesting outings that were 
ever a part of the regular program, we made other 
journeys. Some of our number traveled to Grenoble 
and to beautiful Nice on the Mediterranean, others 
went over those picturesque parts that border Spain 
and some stood by Lake Geneva and spent a night 
at lovely Chamonix under the shadow of Mont 
Blanc, marveling at its stupendous beauty. There 
were vales and grottoes, lakes and mountains to 
which we went, but there was always the soldier 



and one used these Stray Days largely to gather 
new strength, new vigor for the important task back 
in the Y hut. One might go many miles away from 
camp life, but the vision of those thousands of 
virile lads with soul and body steeled for the hour 
could not be lost and always sent one back to them 
with an eager longing to serve better than before. 



WE verily believe that consistent adherence 
to the teachings of the Prince of Peace, is 
the rock upon which the colored people of Amer- 
ica must build the superstructure of their civiliza- 
tion for all their future. It offers the only sure 
solution for their many difficulties, although it must 
be accompanied by righteous and indignant pro- 
test against injustice. 

Some were not anxious for the colored soldier 
to take a part in the great World War. They felt 
that it would be a needless sacrifice for something 
that would bring no tangible results by way of 
alleviating his present condition; others felt that 
if he offered his life upon the altar for the prin- 
ciples of a new freedom, the remaining shackles 
that have so long bound him would be wholly 

Neither were correct; for while the shackles have 
not been wholly removed from his body there have 
been wonderful results accomplished that have in 
some measure removed the fetters from his soul. 

Approximately 150,000 soldiers, officers and 
men went to France to represent the colored race in 
America. Many of them were brigaded with the 
French, while other thousands had a contact and 
association with this people which resulted in bring- 
ing for the entire number a broader view of life; 
they caught the vision of a freedom that gave them 
new hope and a new inspiration. 



Some of them received the rudiments of an 
education through direct instruction; a thing that 
would not have come to them in all the years of a 
lifetime at home, while many hundreds had the 
opportunity of traveling through the flowering 
fields of a country long famed for its love of the 
beautiful, and seeing its wonderful monuments, 
cathedrals, art galleries, palaces, chateaux, etc., 
that represent the highest attainment in the world of 
architecture and art. They looked upon the relics 
left by a people long gone, and saw the picturesque- 
ness of a great and wonderful country, as they took 
their way from the port cities to the front line 
trenches, or to the towering Alps, or through the 
farms and villages of a quaint and thrifty people. 
And while they traveled they learned that there 
is a fair-skinned people in the world who believe 
in the equality of races, and who practice what they 

In addition to this they had an opportunity of 
making a record for themselves that will be in no 
wise hidden from the generations of the future; a 
proud record of which the Frenchman took note, 
and for which he will give them due credit in the 
true history of the Great World War. 

They also had an opportunity to give the truth 
a hearing before the Court of Justice of the civi- 
lized world; the truth with regard to their conduct, 
their mental capacity, their God-given talents, and 
their ability for the leadership of men and the 
accomplishment of results that were a credit to 



themselves and to the nation which they repre- 

All of these things were quite enough to offset 
whatever came to them of hardship and sacrifice, 
of war and suffering, of mean prejudice and subtle 
propaganda, of misrepresentation and glaring in- 

They have a right to have a wonderful hope for 
the future. Nothing but the Hand of Providence 
could have guided them into a great world mael- 
strom and brought them out with such wonderful 
and satisfying results. Their future endeavor 
should be to a greater extent than ever before along 
the line of demonstrating to the world their ability 
to follow that Providence more closely and with 
a greater faith; to become to the world a living 
example that the principles of Christianity can be 
applied with greater and increasing success to 
every-day life; and to blaze a pathway for them- 
selves whose brightness and beauty will make a 
plea so eloquent that the ancient doctrine of the 
Brotherhood of Man will finally become the chief 
cornerstone of our Democracy. 


1. A riot between colored troops and the citizens of 
Houston resulted in 13 colored soldiers being condemned 
to death. As a consequence the Des Moines Officers' 
Training School had its term lengthened by one month, 
making the necessary time for obtaining a commission, 
four months instead of three; believing they were to be 

17 255 


denied commissions altogether, many of the candidates 
went home. 

2. See Crisis Magazine, 70 Fifth Avenue, New York 
City, Page 19, issue of May, 1919. 

3. From official record taken by soldier who was in 
Brest at the time. 

4. See Crisis, May, 1919, Pages 16 and 17. 

5. A term of contempt used in referring to the French 

6. From report of supervisor of instruction for colored 
soldiers in France. 


S. 0. S. Service of Supplies. Referred to men en- 
gaged in getting supplies of food and ammunition to the 

A. P. 0. Army Post Office. The post offices were 
known by numbers so that names of towns giving loca- 
tion of troops would not be placed on paper. 

A. E. F. American Expeditionary Force or Forces. 
Both terms were used, and referred to troops, welfare 
workers, etc., serving overseas. 

G. 0. General Orders. Orders issued from general 
army headquarters. 

Del. Detached. 

M. P. Military Police. 

F. A. Field Artillery. 

C. 0. Commanding Officer. 

t). I. Divisional Infantry. I. D. Infantry Division. 
R. I. U. S. Reserved Infantry United States. 



A. and M. College, Tallahassee, 

Fla 205 

A. and T. College, Greensboro, 

N. C 205 

Aix-les-Bains 20, 159, 162, 164 

Alexander, Capt 84 

Allen, Capt 84 

Allied Women, Conference of.. 219 

Alston, Elaine, Lieut 84 

American Library Association.. 213 
Andrews, William, Lieut . .Opp. 84 

Anderson, William 179 

Antioch Farm 80,83 

Argonne Forest 25,90,109 

Armistead, J. Emmett, Sgt. 

Maj 127 

Armstrong, Sgt 106 

Army Candidate School 212 


Officers of 149 

Regiments, 167th 62,63,212 

Atlanta University 145 

Bailey, Sgt. Maj 221 

Bailey, Wm., Band Leader. Opp. 222 

Ballou, Maj. Gen. 45 


Europe's Band 219 

Saint Nazaire Band... .Of p. 222 

802 P. I. Reg. Band... .Opp. 222 

803 P. I. Reg. Band... .Opp. 222 
805 P. I. Reg. Band... .Opp. 223 
808 P. I. Reg. Band... .Opp. 223 

815 P. I. Reg. Band... 

.Opp. 218 

Banks, Sgt 106 

Banks, E. T Opp. 25, 26, 229 

Barnett, Leonard, Sgt., 

116, Opp. 210, 211 

Bayles, Sgt Opp. 122 

Beall, Jeremiah, Lieut.-Col 115 

Belgian Border 83 

Belleau Woods 153,246 

Beaune, University of . .205, 206, 210 

Black Madonna 178 

Black Regiment 75 

Blackwell, Sgt Opp. 128 

Blodelsheim 73 

"Blues" 217 

Blue, Sgt 106 

Bois de Mortier 80,81,82 

Bois d'Oiry 81 

Boker, George Henry 75 

Bordeaux 15,97,100,137 

Camp Ancona 208 

Bordeaux, University of... 211, 212 
Boutte, Matthew, Capt. 

57, 58, 59, 60, 61, Opp. 58 

20, 97, 98, 99, 100, 138, 155, 182, 

209, 214, 219, 221, 223, 250. 

Camp Lincoln 35,219,250 

Camp Pontanezen, 

22, 35, 38, 52, 128, 155, 192, 214 
Brewington, Everett, Sgt., 

130, Opp. 210, 211 

Brown, N. Fairfax, Phr.D...152, 154 
Browning, Osceola A., Lieut. .83, 84 

Bruce, Miss 152 

Bullock, Mr., 

23, 25, Opp. 26,169,179 

Burwell, Sgt 125 

Camps, American 

Des Moines 44 

Funston 112,116 

Jackson ..'. 88 

Sherman 116 

Stuart 90 

Taylor 128 

Camps, French 

Ancona, See Bbrdeaux 

Guthrie, See St. Nazaire 

Lincoln, See Brest 

Montoir, See St. Nazaire 

One, see St. Nazaire 

Pontanezen, See Brest 

Romagne ..131,153,218,214,221 

Carlisle Indian School 232 

Carnac 249 

Carr, Sgt Opp. 122 


Beaumont 235 

Belleau Woods 235 

Fere-en-Tardenois 235 

Soissons 235 

Thiencourt 235 

Romagne 235 

Challes-les-Eaux . .152, 162, 167, 214 

Chambery 152,162,166 

Champagne Offensive 26,89,90 

Chantmd Farm 82 

Chapman, Sgt Opp. 128 

Chateau Chehery 223 

Chateau Thierry 108,153,245 

Chaumont 152,154,162 

Cheatham, Lieut 85 

Cherry, D. K., Capt. .Opp. 206, 211 

Childs, Mrs 152,154 

Chisholm, Frank L., Lieut... Opp. 58 

Murphy, Lieut 80 

Red Hand Division 72 

White, Maj 4 

369 Reg. Inf. 73 

371 Reg. Inf 89 

372 Reg. Inf 91 

802 P. 1 127 

805 P. 1 113, 114 

807 P. 1 120 

Clark, Sgt 106 

Clark University 145 

Clayton, Thomas 205,208 

Clifford, Mrs. Carrie W 134 

Clifford, J. Williams, Lieut. Opp. 58 
Clifford, Maurice, Sgt.-Maj.... 123 

Cockett, Dr 19 

Coffin, Henry S., Dr 13 

Coleman, Sgt Opp. 122 

Colored "Y" Huts, List of 35 

Cook, H. 25, Opp. 26 

INDEX Continued 

Cooper, Opal 219 

Coverdale, Sgt.-Maj Opp. 128 

Craigwell, Mrs Opp. 26, 1 52 

Crawford, Capt 84 

Crawford, Miss 19 

Croix de Guerre, 

51, 54, 62, 71, 74, 80, 81, 83, 84, 

93, 196. 

Croom, J. C Opp. 28, 33 

Crutcher, W. H 205, Opp. 206 

Curtis, Mrs. James L., 

136, 152, 153,154,161,162 

Dabney, Lieut 54 

Daly, Victor R., Lieut Opp. 58 

Davidson, Lieut 54 

Davidson, Cornelius 123 

Dead Man's Hill 90 

Dean, Milton, Maj 62 

Dickinson, Jay 124 


In America 42 

Knights of Columbus 31 


23, 29, 30, 43, 46, 55, 57, 59, 102, 

185, 186, 188, 189. 

Propaganda 103,125,185 

Y. M. C. A 26, 27, 28, 138 

Y. W. C. A 32 

Distinguished Service Cross, 

83, 84, 196 


45, 48, 52, 61, 86, 112, 188, 211, 

93d 196 

Dogan, Sgt 106 

Donaldson, U. S. Sgt.-Maj., 

128, Opp. 210, 211 

Douglass, Dr. H. Paul 209 

Drye, Frank L., Lieut Opp. 58 

Du Bois, W. E. B 136 

Dunbar, Paul Lawrence. 95, 110, 240 

Duncan, Lieut.-Col 80, 83, 84 

Dunn, Henry, Sgt 106,179 

Edwards, Miss Opp. 26, 152, 154 

Eggleston, Sgt.-Maj 128 

Ellis, Wadley, Sgt Opp. 92 

Engineers 108 

37th 109 

505th 108 

546th 108,109 

Epernay 246, 247 

Europe, James Reese. 69, 74, 218, 220 

Evans, Miss 152,154 

Farmer's Institute 209 

Farrell, Sgt 106 

Ferguson, Rev. D. Leroy.33, 139,203 

Ferine la Riviere 80 

Fields, Milton F. Opp. 210, 212 

Filmore, Chas. W., Capt., 

69, Opp. 70, 74 

Fisk University 58 

Frederick Douglass Home 153 

Freeman, Sgt Opp. 122 

French Hospitality 85, 187, 197 

French Troops 

9th Army Corps, 4th Army 89 
13th French Army Corps.. 88, 90 

35th French Division 90 

63d French Division 90 

68th French Division 88 

157th French Division 90 

333d French Infantry 89 

Garbon, Miss 1 52 

German Propaganda 53 

Glead, Clarence 212 

Godman, Leroy, Capt 48, 61 

Gondrecourt 212 

Gordon, Lieut 85 

Gould, Ernest M., Lieut Opp. 58 

Gouraud, Gen 71 

Gowdy, Sgt Opp. 128, 129 

Grandlup 82 

Griffin, Sgt 129 

Griffith, Rev. T. A 29,229 

Cue, D'Hossus 83 

Gwynne, Capt 89 

Hagan, Miss Helen. . . .Opp. 26, 153 

Hall, Capt. 84 

Hampton Institute 145 

Hardy, Sgt. Maj Opp. 128 

Harris, Miss 20 

Harrison 129 

Haute Marne 184 

Haute Soane 52 

Hayward, Wm., Col 69 

Hill 304 90 

Hill, Leslie Pinckney 216 

Hindenburg Line 81 

Hodges, Chaplain 203 

Holitz 1'Eveque 89 

Howard University 112,145 

Hubert, Benj. F., 

204, 205, 206, Opp. 206 

Humphrey, C. B., Col 113,115 

Hunton, Benjamin H.. .54, Opp. 58 

Kurd, Lieut 85 

Illiteracy 200 

Influenza 150 

Is-Sur-Tille 208 

Jackson, First Lieut 85 

Jackson, Second Lieut 85 

Jackson, George W., 

205, 207, Opp. 206 

James 129 

Jamison, Roscoe C 94 

Jefferson, Sgt, Saxaphonist, 

Opp. 222\ 
Jefferson, M. M., Chaplain, 

203, Opp. 228 

Jenkins, L. C., Rev 183 

Jenkins, Matthew, Sgt 89 

Jeton, Sgt Opp. 128, 129 

Jewish Welfare Board 227 

Johnson, Charles A 212 

Johnson, Georgia Douglass, 


INDEX Continued 

Johnson, Henry Opp. 70, 71 

Johnson, James Weldon ....13,107 

Johnson, Oscar S 212 

Johnson, Warwick 123 

Jones, Sgt 106 

Kansler, Fritz 250 

Kindal, Mr 180,246 

King, Henry Churchill 228 

Knights of Columbus 22,31,227 

La Cortrine 213 

Labor Battalions, 

97, 98, 99, 149, 155, 235 

332d Labor Battalion 105 

339th Labor Battalion 105 

608th Labor Battalion 105 

Lacy, George W., Lieut. .. 69, 74, 84 

Laon 85 

La Mans 152,154,155 

Leave Area, 

153, 154, 159, 162, 180, 186 

Lee, Lieut 85 

Lee, B. F., Jr 36 

Legion d'Hqnneur 71 

Lincoln University 123 

Long, Sgt.-Maj Opp. 122 

Lorgny 83 

McAllister, R. A., Chap.. .Opp. 228 

McCook, Miss Martha 19 

McCoomer, Rev 203 

McKenzie, Mr 212 

Marriott, Sgt.-Maj., 

116, Opp. 210, 212 

Marseilles 97, 99, 100, 1 52 

Marshall, Napoleon B'., Capt., 

69, Opp. 70, 74 

Mead, Mrs. Elsie 19 

Mead, Oliver, Band Master. Opp. 28 
Medical Officers, 370th Inf. 

Antoine, Geo. W., Lieut 83 

Bacote, Ruf us, Lieut 83 

Ballard, Claudius, Lieut. . .83, 85 
Dickinson, Spencer, Capt. ... 83 
Lawson, James F., Lieut. ... 83 

Lewis, Leonard W., Capt 83 

Roe, Lieut 83 

Tancil, Lieut 83,84 

White, James R., Maj 83,84 

Metz 90,99 

Mitchell, J. W 212 

Mobilization, Rapid 116 

Monroe, Charles F., Sgt Opp. 92 

Moore, Fred R 135 

Moore, Carrie W., Lieut 180 

Moran, James L Opp. 210, 212 

Moreau, Vice- Admiral 93 

Morehouse College 145 

Morris, Capt 54 

Morton, R. R., Mai 136 

Murphy, G. M., Lieut 80 

Nantes 191 

National Association of Colored 

Women 153 

National Guard Organization. . 88 
Nelson, William. .204, 211, Opp. 206 

Nichols, Franklin O., 

Opp. 28, 139, 204, 205, 206 

Norvell, Lieut 85 

Oberlin College 205 

Ohio University 127 

Owens, Mr Opp. 26 

Pack, Kenneth, Sgt 127 

Painter, Lieut 85 

Patton, Capt 81,82,84 

Paris 16, 17, 241, 242 

Parks, Mr 180,246 

Pershing, Gen 55, 154, 221 

Phelps, Miss Opp. 26, 1 52 

Pioneer Infantries 1 55H 

Poincare, Pres. and Madam, 


Powell, Electrician 106 

Powers, Walter, Sgt., 

116, Opp. 210, 210 
Prairie View Normal School... 112 

Price, Lieut 85 

Price, Walter Opp. 28 

Proctor, George F., Lieut. .Opp. 84 

Prout, Capt. 84 


8th Illinois 112 

15th New York 96,112,221 

301st 205 

367th (Buffaloes) N. Y. ...96,52 

368th 25,48 

369th 25,69 

370th, 111., 

96, 77, 78, 79, 83, 85, 86, 212 

371st 112,25,88,90 

372d 112,88,90,93 

801st P. 1 127 

802d P. 1 116, 126 

803d P. I, 127, 128 

804th P. 1 221 

805th P. I., 

112,113,114, 115,116,222 

806th P. 1 116,130,154 

807th P. 1 149,218,219 

808th P. 1 123,223 

809th P. 1 122,149 

811th P. 1 130 

813th P. I. . 124, 132, 235, 245, 246 

814th P. 1 130 

815th P. 1 116,132,221,235 

816th P. 1 116,132,221,235 

Reid, D. Lincoln, Lieut. .69, 74, 85 

Rembercourt-aux-Port 88 

Rheims 243 

Ridgeway t Susan 20 

Rioting 191 

Roach, Reese, Sgt Opp. 128 

Roberts, Maj 30, 36 

Roberts, Needham Opp. 70, 71 

Roberts, Spencer, Sgt 149 

Roberts, T. A., Col 80, 84 

Robeson, Chaplain Opp. 226 

Robinson, Lieut 85 

Rochon, Miss Opp. 26, 152, 154 

Roosevelt, Theodore 40 

INDEX Continued 

Roosevelt, Mrs. Theodore, Jr., 


Rosenwald, Julius 203 

Rousseau, Jean Jacques 166 

Sachs, Ella 19 

Sadler, Mr 152,162 

Saint Nazaire, 

70, 98, 100, 184, 191, 209, 214 

Camp Guthrie 229 

Camp Lusitania, 

32, 139, 146, 148, 149, 200, 202, 

203, 214. 

Camp Montoir . . 139, 149, 207, 229 

Camp One (Hut 5), 

104, 138, 139, 146,205 

Saint Pierremont 83 

Saint Sulpice 137 

Salvation Army 32, 227 

Saunders, Chester, Capt 81, 84 

Savoie 160, 163 

Scott, Emmett 136 

Scroggins, Mr 180 

Selden, B. F Opp. 228 

S. O. S. (Service of Supplies) 

Sector 96, 99, 100 

Shaw, Miss 20 

Shelton, Lieut 85 

Shepherd, Wm. G 237 

Sheppard, J. Douglass. Opp. 210, 211 

Sherburne, Brig.-Gen 64 

Sheridan 129 

Shockley, Mr 179 

Sierre River 83 

Signal Corps Battalion, 325th.. 212 

Slade, Mrs. F. Louis 19 

Sloane, Wm 12 

Smith, Henry 106 

Smith, James H., Capt 82,84 


Shovel Song 109 

There's a Long, Long Trail.. 218 

Spalding, G. R., Col 114 

Spingarn, Arthur, Capt 180 

Stark, George Shippen, Chap., 

Opp. 228 
State College, Orangeburg, 

S. C 204 

Stevedores 97, 98, 99, 149 

Stevenson, Sgt 222 

Stevenson, Wm., 

Opp. 16, 34, 139, 168, 169, 179, 224 

Stokes, Maj 82 

Stokes, Pvt 203 

Straight University 58 

Suarez, Miss Opp. 26, 152, 155 

Talbert, Mary B 153 

Tapscott, Sgt 106 

Taylor 129 


Colored Troops and Workers 
from Mayor of Challes-les- 
Eaux 173 

Funeral Offerings from the 
people of Chambery 222 

92d Division from Maj. -Gen. 

Ballou 68 

167th Field Artillery from 

Brig.-Gen. Sherburne 68 

351st Field Artillery from 

Col. Carpenter 65 

370th Infantry from French 

People 85 

370th Infantry from Gen. 

Vincendon, 59th D i v . 

French Army 86 

371st and 372d Inf., from 

Col. Quillet 91 

371st and 372d Inf., from 

Gen. Goybet 92 

Thomas, Miss 152,153,246 

Tisdell, Lieut 85 

Toney, Sgt 127 

Turner, Miss Opp. 26, 1 52 

Tuskegee Institute. 112, 145, 204, 205 

Tyler, Sgt.-Maj., W. W 124 

Vannes 185,213,248 

Yauxillion 83 

Verdun 90, 245 

Verriere , .... 89 

Virginia Union University, 

123, 127, 145 

Vodrey, Lieut 218 

Vosges Mts 90 

Wallace, Chaplain Opp. 228 

Wallace, W. S 24,26 

Ward, Sgt 106 

Ward, Joseph, Maj 62 

Warfield, Lieut 85 

Warner, CapL 84 

Washington, Sgt 129 

Watkins, Mr 179 

Watkins, Sgt.-Maj 128 

Watson, Miss 20,155 

Wheelock, James E., Lieut 224 

White, Hamilton, Bugler. . .Opp. 222 

White Soldiers 150,161,162 

Whiting, Joseph L.205, 207, Opp. 206 

Wilcox, Ella Wheeler 101 

Wilkinson, Charles S 106,212 

Williams 129 

Williams, Mrs 152 

Williams, Sgt.-Maj 124 

Williams, Hugo A., Lieut.. .Opp. 84 

Williams, Ray, Sgt Opp. 92 

Williams, Thomas 212 

Williams, Dr. Wilberforce 246 

Williamson, Mrs. 152,153,246 

Wilson, President 223 

Woolcott, Alexander 192 

Wright, Charles 106 

Wright, John C., 

139, 140, 159, 149, 204, 205, 206, 
Opp. 206. 

Young, Charles, Col 43,44 

Young, Ulysses, Sgt., 

131, Opp. 210,212 
Y. M. C. A. Headquarters, 

Opp. 16,16.26 
Y. W. C. A 227 

A 000 131 207